After reporting on some possible mumps cases at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) Tuesday, The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has confirmed two cases of mumps involving UCA students today, both of whom live off campus, and several others are still being investigated.
Arkansas has been experiencing a mumps outbreak since late August and as of today, there are a total of 1,270 cases under investigation, which include individuals who have displayed symptoms related to mumps or have received lab confirmation that they are positive for the virus.
As of November 15, 2016, Benton, Madison, Pulaski, and Washington are the counties involved.
ADH officials say that throughout this outbreak, 90% to 95% of school-aged children and 30% to 40% of adults involved in the outbreak have been fully immunized. The vaccine is not perfect. Two doses of the MMR shot are about 88% effective at preventing the mumps.
That means that if you have 100 people who are fully vaccinated, 88 of them will be fully protected. The remaining 12 will still be vulnerable to mumps. If it were not for the vaccine, however, we would be seeing many, many more cases of the mumps, health officials note. Also, only a few cases with complications, like swelling of the brain or testicles.
Normally, health officials would expect to see many more persons with complications. This tells us that even though some vaccinated individuals are still getting the mumps, they are experiencing mild disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mumps is a viral illness that is transmitted by direct contact with respiratory droplets or saliva from an infected person. It is best known for painful, swollen salivary glands that show up as puffy cheeks and swollen jaw. Boys may also have painful, swollen testicles. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscles aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. There is no treatment, and symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few weeks. Mumps is usually a mild disease in children, but adults may have more serious disease with complications.
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