Officials Urge Vaccination Amidst Delaware Mumps Outbreak

Nearly a dozen cases reported recently

A mumps outbreak in the state of Delaware has caused local health officials to urge people to ensure that their vaccinations are up to schedule.

Eleven new cases have been reported this month, believed to the be linked to two separate dance festivals held in the same venue.

What’s more, some of the cases have been reported in young adults who received the mumps vaccine as children—leading to studies being conducted to determine whether a booster shot in adulthood can reduce the likelihood of contracting the condition. The protection from the original vaccine cane decrease over time.

Most children get two doses of the MMR vaccine (which protects against measles, mumps and rubella) by the time they are 6 years old. However, there have been recent outbreaks of the virus among young adults who were vaccinated.

The mumps vaccine, which is the focus of a recent study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, finds immunity after vaccination lasts an average of 27 years, but a quarter of people lose protection after eight years.

Mumps can spread through coughing, sneezing or by sharing infected items. Doctors say you should still get vaccinated, especially in areas that experience outbreaks.

“If you’ve been vaccinated, the severity of your illness is nowhere near as bad,” Dr. Neil Roy of Sinai Hospital said.


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