There has been a recent increase in cases of mumps in our area including local colleges and elementary, middle and high schools. Mumps is a virus that we vaccinate against with the MMR vaccine, there is no treatment or cure. Mumps infection can have no symptoms or it can cause swollen, painful salivary glands, fever, headache, fatigue, and appetite loss. Complications from mumps are rare, but can be serious if left untreated. These include inflammation of testicles or ovaries which can cause infertility, pancreatitis, and hearing loss. Most severely mumps can cause meningitis or encephalitis which can lead to death.
Vaccination against mumps is about 88% effective. Mumps outbreaks can still occur in highly vaccinated U.S. communities, particularly in close-contact settings. In recent years, outbreaks have occurred in schools, colleges, and camps. However, high vaccination coverage helps limit the size, duration, and spread of mumps outbreaks.
It is EXTREMELY important to vaccinate against mumps to prevent extensive outbreaks of the disease. High vaccination rates increase herd immunity to protect children under 12 months who cannot get the MMR vaccine and those who are immune compromised and are more susceptible to disease.
Please do your part for the health of your child and the health of our community and nation. Public health is all of our responsibilities!! Vaccination saves lives!!