Reported mumps cases in the U.S. at highest level since 2006

The U.S. now has more cases of the mumps

Photo: Thinkstock

(CNN) – Most of us get vaccines protecting against mumps in childhood, but mumps cases are at a ten-year high in the United States.

The U.S. now has more cases of the mumps than it’s had in the last decade. According to the centers for disease control and prevention, there are more than five thousand cases across the country.

Mumps typically starts with a fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness or loss of appetite.

Its most recognizable features are puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw. Health officials recommend children get two doses of the m-m-r vaccine to protect against mumps, measles and rubella, but they aren’t 100-percent effective.

The CDC says that, as of the end of 2016, there were 5,311 reported mumps cases in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

The last time there were this many cases was in 2006, when outbreaks affected more than 65 hundred people. These numbers are still dramatically smaller than they were before the U.S. started its vaccination program in 1967.  Back then, there were around 186-thousand reported mumps cases each year.

Mumps is typically spread by saliva and mucus. It can cause complications in adults, and since it’s caused by a virus, it doesn’t respond to antibiotics.

Doctors generally recommend over-the-counter pain relievers and bed rest.

Copyright 2017 CNN

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