mumps outbreak at 63 cases, spreads beyond university
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[March 25, 2014]
By Kim Palmer
Some 63 cases of mumps have been reported
in Ohio in an outbreak that started at Ohio State University in
Columbus but has spread to people without ties to the school — a
"disturbing development," say public health officials.
Forty-five of those infected are Ohio State
students, staff members or people with close campus ties, and 18
cases from the community have no university connection, said Jose
Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Columbus health department.
Rodriguez said the majority of those infected had received at least
one round of the vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella and it
will be difficult to pinpoint the origin of the outbreak.
"It is an easy disease to give and get, much like the flu or cold,
and it spreads in highly populated areas," Rodriguez said.
Franklin County, which includes Columbus, typically sees one
reported mumps case per year, Rodriguez said.
The age range of the 63 reported cases is 4 to 55, the health
department said, with the onset of the illness reported between
January 7 and last Saturday.
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Mumps is a contagious
disease that causes painful swelling of the salivary glands. It is
now considered rare in the United States and the number of cases
reported annually has dropped 98 percent since the mumps vaccine was
introduced in the 1960s, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
(Reporting by Kim Palmer; editing by David Bailey and Gunna
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