Protection Against Mumps Has Faded Over Last Two Decades
Research shows that Americans’ protection against Mumps has declined since 2006. Before the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine was routinely given to children, annual cases of Mumps numbered in the hundreds of thousands. High rates of routine childhood immunization had reduced yearly infections to less than 400, but the US now sees several hundred to several thousand cases on a regular basis. A new study investigated the reason for the resurgence of the virus. Most evidence points to one of two explanations for the increase in cases; The first is that the body’s immunity to the Mumps can wane over time. The second theory is that new strains evade the immune response from the vaccine. Using mathematical modeling, the study’s researchers demonstrated that waning immunity was primarily responsible for the country’s surge of infections. The scientists found that in one-third of vaccinated children, immunity begins to weaken begin weaken by age 18. Infectious disease experts emphasize that the MMR vaccine still offers excellent protection against severe disease. Furthermore it continues to provide good protection against mild infection even after immunity starts to fade. “These outbreaks are still distinctive and rather unusual events,” said Dr. William Schaffner, Medical Director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Two doses of the vaccines lowers the risk of developing Mumps by 88%. The once common infection typically causes swollen jaws and cheeks, fever, headaches and fatigue. In more severe cases, people can suffer brain inflammation and hearing loss.
Full Story: HealthDay