Mumps is a highly-contagious and dangerous viral disease. The virus causes the salivary glands below your ear to swell, leaving the area sensitive and painful. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, and fever.
Prior to 1967, the disease was very common, with roughly 200,000 cases recorded every year in the U.S. The numbers began to decline substantially after 1967, when the U.S. government gave the green light to implement mumps vaccinations nationwide.
Today, however, mumps has been slowly making an unwanted comeback, threatening the health of the general public. In fact, an article from The Lantern, the student publication of Ohio State University (OSU), reports a mumps outbreak on the OSU campus:
“The top Ohio State academic official distributed a message encouraging professors to accommodate students with mumps in their classes as the number of cases reported around OSU rose to more than 30.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 32 cases have been reported at or near OSU. Twenty six are students, two are staff members, one is a family member of an OSU student, faculty or staff member and three are listed as having strong OSU community links, according to the Columbus Public Health daily mumps outbreak count.
“The recent outbreak of mumps on the Columbus campus has all of us concerned. While relatively few students have been affected, any number is too large, and the university is taking precautions to ensure that the outbreak is controlled as rapidly as possible,” Steinmetz [OSU Provost and Executive Vice President] said…”
Health experts believe that one of the major reasons why mumps has seen resurgence in the last few months is the fact that vaccination rates have been declining. This is largely due to the influence of anti-vaccination figures like Jenny McCarthy, and a (debunked) belief that the MMR vaccine causes autism in children.
The truth of the matter is that vaccination is the primary defense against contracting dangerous diseases like the mumps. At the same time, receiving the vaccine from a reputable Lacey urgent care center like U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group can inhibit the spread of the disease.
The most dangerous part about mumps is that not everyone exhibits the telltale swelling of the salivary glands. As such, people could be carriers of the disease without knowing it. That said, the best way to counter the disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. A quick trip to get vaccinated at an urgent care in Lacey can go a long way in keeping yourself and others safe.
(Source: Mumps cases at Ohio State up to 32; The Lantern; March 19, 2014)