Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Local doctor speaks about health department investigating mumps at UA

Washington state mumps cases as Washington state mumps cases as
Sammy Stanley | 27 February, 2017, 00:23

Vaccines for chickenpox (varicella) and measles, mumps and rubella at a Kaiser Permanente East Medical office in Denver. The CDC recommends that children get two doses of the vaccine, one at 12 to 15 months and the other before entering school.

"Since the vaccine was created, the rates have gone down astronomically from 30,000 cases per year to just a handful".

"At present, mumps does not come as a single antigen vaccine and is available only as combined MMR vaccine so deliberating a third dose would also need to consider extra doses of measles and rubella", said Stinchfield, who is Senior Director of Infection Prevention at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

"For those who have not received it (mumps immunization), the nurses are well aware", she said.

An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing or talking; by sharing items such as cups or beverages; through intimate contact; or by touching surfaces with unwashed hands.

According to officials with the university, UA is a highly vaccinated student population, but mumps can still occur in vaccinated communities.

Dr. Jeff Blackmer, vice-president of the Canadian Medical Association, said the number of cases is "on the high side" and above what the medical community typically expects for this time of year. The committee will also consider if vaccine storage and handling techniques, or a shift in the mumps genotype compared to the vaccine, could explain the outbreaks. Individuals are urged to document their symptoms closely, isolate themselves from roommates, friends and/or travel partners and avoid returning to the University for at least five days after the onset of symptoms. But its members said Thursday that they are moving as quickly as possible.

Signs of mumps range from flu-like symptoms, including swelling or pain in the cheeks and jaw, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches, to painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries - and more severe complications including meningitis or brain inflammation.

Mumps is usually diagnosed based on symptoms and a history of exposure to the illness.

The majority of people exposed to the virus simply require rest and care at home.

"It's not always a benign condition, so that's one of the reasons why it's so important to get taken care of if you have it", Blackmer said.

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