Mumps Outbreak In L.A. County Infects 42 People

A sudden terrible mumps outbreak in Los Angeles County has now infected 42 people, and many of those are living on the Westside.

Nationally, mumps has been a major problem in recent years. There have been 5,833 cases nationwide last year, and that number seems to be rising this year. As of May, there have been 3,176 nationwide cases this year, on pace to exceed last year's comfortably.

Some vaccinated individuals have been affected, with the majority of cases being found in places where people are kept in closed quarters, such as college campuses. The MMR vaccine, designed to protect against mumps among other diseases, does not seem to be covering it.

The vaccine's effectiveness is not really in question, but there are thoughts of adding additional doses. Now, doses are given when children are about one year of age and then again before school age. The vaccine may wane before adulthood is reached. Some, like military members, are given additional doses of the vaccine in basic training, but the general population does not receive a booster.

Research has shone that it may be just a blip though. Most of those infected intermingle. Most of the cases have been seen on campuses, in bars, nightclubs, or other similar places. People infected tend to have the same social networks.

It is recommended that you limit contact with affected individuals. Do not share drinks. Avoid shaking hands. Make sure to wash your hands often. If you are infected, you should limit your contact with other people until you're better and should see a doctor immediately to start your treatment. Please be courteous to others and try not to spread the virus around.

Regardless of this blip, the national incidence of mumps is down more than 99% since before the introduction of the MMR vaccine, so these numbers are nothing too much to worry about. It's just important that everyone take the proper precautions to avoid getting infected, especially if you live in an outbreak area.




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