View article and video on WSPA Link
A recent government report shows mumps cases are at the highest level we’ve seen in 10 years. With more than 4,000 people getting sick. That’s three times higher than last year.
College campuses throughout the nation are getting hit especially hard. I checked locally, and while no Upstate colleges report mumps cases some schools in the Midwest and northeast are seeing outbreaks. So ahead of the holidays, we want you to know how to protect yourself in this 7 News Medical Watch.
Before the 1960s it wasn’t uncommon to see the telltale sign of the mumps virus; swelling under the jaw that makes swallowing painful.
This year, the Centers For Disease Control says it’s seeing a spike especially in the last month with almost 1,400 new cases, mostly on college campuses.
‘I was really curious to see that there was a recurrence of it. Because I just automatically assumed that everybody’s getting their MMRs,” said Connie Perry-Godoy, a student in her 50s at Spartanburg Community College.
She grew up in a time when everyone got the measles mumps rubella vaccine.
“It’s almost like a little tatoo of like, oh yeah, me, too,” she said.
Barbara Lustig-Tille the Chair of the Nursing Department at SCC is concerned, too many parents are choosing not to vaccinate or follow up with the second shot.
“So now you’ve got partial immunizations on some people, but none on others. And that’s probably led to some of this issue.”
This CDC graph shows a spike we haven’t been close to since 2006. And the dark states on the map on the same page show where the case numbers are highest. The Carolinas have seen fewer than 70.
If you don’t have the records and want to check to see if you’re fully immunized, there’s a simple blood test that checks for Measles mumps and rubella. If you’re deficient in one or more, all you need is a booster shot. Just ask your doctor.
Lustig-Tille also warns, since the mumps virus can lead to sterility, hearing loss and meningitis, the health concerns are grave.
“We are used to just being so safe in so many areas health wise, that I think sometimes people diminish the importance of continuing to be really proactive on making sure that all of those diseases don’t come back,” said Perry-Godoy.