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    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    Midwest Mumps: Iowa is up to 1120 confirmed cases of mumps. Luckily, only 6% of them had orchitis, and only 0.4% had encephalitis.

    It is spreading to other surrounding states as well. If you think you might have a case of it in your office, here's the testing you'll want to get.

    Here is the CDC's explanation of the epidemic:

    The problem here is with the lack of complete coverage of the vaccine, number one. Our vaccine program for mumps began in 1967, but just by nature, there is a group of students, roughly college-age students, who may be less likely to have received both doses of the mumps vaccine and are incompletely vaccinated. Therefore, they are susceptible when infection is introduced, and they have a very high chance of getting mumps under those environments.

    In addition, although this is a very good vaccine, it is not perfect. About 10 percent of people who get both doses of the vaccine still remain [susceptible] to mumps. So if you are in a community of 10,000 people and 10 percent of the people who got both doses of the vaccine are susceptible, once you get a little outbreak going in that community, that means that up to 1,000 people in the community would actually come down with mumps even though they were properly immunized with what we know is a very good vaccine.

    What is going on here in the context of the outbreaks is a number of people who have not received both doses, coupled together with people who have received the vaccine but are susceptible anyway because it is not perfect, living in crowded conditions like college dormitories, or mixing up with other students such as might happen during spring break or the holidays, and really setting off a cascade of transmissions that is going to take a while to curtail and eventually stop.


    Mumps. It's out there. Here are the symptoms, if you think you have it, and here's what it looks like.
     

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