Mumps Outbreak in Los Angeles County

The Westside of Los Angeles County is facing an outbreak of mumps. So far in 2017, there have been 42 reported cases of mumps in Los Angeles County. The majority of these reports come from people living on the Westside.

In a report by the LA Times, this outbreak is part of an ongoing trend throughout the United States as multiple cities and states have reported outbreaks of mumps in recent years. This includes Texas, Arkansas, and Washington. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) states that overall mumps is an uncommon disease in the United States, but that outbreaks have caused a larger number of cases to occur. Outbreaks are often due to crowded environments, which is why outbreaks tend to occur on college campuses.

In 2016 there were 5,833 cases of mumps reported throughout the country which according to the CDC was an unusually high number. Between January and May of 2017, there were already 3,176 cases of mumps in 42 different states.

Mumps is usually not a very threatening disease. It often results in symptoms similar to that of the flue with the addition of swollen salivary glands. Many people do not present any symptoms at all, which may increase the spread of the disease since people who feel fine will continue to go out in public where they may give mumps to more people unintentionally. While most people will not suffer much from the disease, it can occasionally be deadly due to rare complications.

The vast majority of people are vaccinated against mumps as children, but that does not provide complete protection against the disease. This may be due to differing strains of mumps or the vaccination providing less protection after enough time has passed. However, vaccinations have led to a 99% decrease in cases of mumps since they were introduced in 1967.

Mumps is spread through physical contact, transfer of saliva such as by kissing, and by touching surfaces an infected person has also touched. Washing hands frequently can help prevent its spread.


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