A mumps outbreak struck the state of Washington in October last year and infected around 300 people. The residents are still battling with the disease, with most cases recorded in Spokane and King County.
The authorities reported that cases of mumps have been found in five Washington counties. The counties that confirmed the mumps cases are King, Spokane, Yakima, Sohomish, and Pierce. Statistics show that 278 cases occurred in the area.
Mumps is an infectious disease that causes the swelling of the salivary glands. The swelling occurs after the patient shows symptoms like fever, headache, and muscle pain. It is a viral disease and the virus can be spread from person to person via saliva and mucus. The mumps virus can also cause complications such as meningitis or other brain conditions, or the swelling of the ovaries or testicles.
Since the last reports, the mumps cases have appeared to increase in Spokane. The disease spread in four districts of the city. Also, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed worrying figures regarding the mumps rate. In United States, 228 cases of mumps occurred only in January. This appears to be the highest number of mumps cases recorded in a decade.
ABC News declared that Spokane recorded at least 94 cases, while King County scored a record of 166. What is more intriguing is that about two-thirds of the cases occurred to vaccinated people. However, the health authorities advise people to have the MMR vaccine administered to them.
This vaccine is also effective against rubella, measles, and varicella (chickenpox). As proven by the recent cases, the shot does not guarantee that you are fully protected against the disease, but it rather raises the immunity levels against the virus.
CDC also inform that one dose of the vaccine guarantees 78 percent protection, while two doses guarantee 88 percent protection. They recommend that children should receive two doses of the shot. In 1967, the United States issued a vaccination program against mumps that was able to reduce considerably the mumps cases.
However, Washington struggles with a mumps outbreak that shows either the low numbers of vaccinated people or the fact that the virus has grown stronger since 1967 and the disease is no longer so easy to prevent.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons