SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP/CNN) – The U.S. is being hit with the most mumps cases it’s seen in a decade.
Dr. Michael Klatte, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at Baystate Children’s Hospital said, “We’ve been seeing a significant uptick in the number of mumps cases here in Massachusetts particularly on college campuses.”
The latest tally as of November 5th is 2,879 cases in 45 states. Before this year the largest number of yearly mumps cases was tallied in 2006 when more than 6,500 cases were reported..
This year more than 100 cases have been reported at several college campuses including Indiana, Illinois Oklahoma, and Massachusetts. Most cases in Massachusetts have occurred at Harvard.
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus spread through saliva and mucus. The CDC recommends children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, but it’s not 100% effective. Children normally get their first dose between 12 months and 12 years old.
Mumps typcially begin with fever, headaches, muscle aches, tiredness or loss of appetite. But it can cause complications with inflammation of the brain, ovaries, or testicles. Since it is a virus, it will not respond to antibiotics, so Doctors typically recommend bed rest and pain relievers. The vaccine is the number one preventive measure Doctors suggest.
“At this point in time we’re really looking towards studies that are in the works as far as whether to recommend an additional third dose of vaccine or not,” Dr. Klatte said.