Mumps outbreak hits more than 1,500 in N.Y., N.J.

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More than 1,500 cases of mumps in New York and New Jersey have prompted the CDC to update the public on the outbreak in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

According to the CDC, the outbreak appears to have originated with an 11-year-old boy who returned from a trip to the United Kingdom and then attended a summer camp for observant Jewish boys. The illness was transmitted to other attendees and staff members and has since spread as those people returned home. The CDC says 97 percent of the people with mumps “are members of the tradition-observant Jewish community.”

Child with mumps (Photo: Public Health Image Library)

Child with mumps (Photo: Public Health Image Library)

The CDC’s report includes information about how many of the people found to have mumps have been vaccinated – 88 percent had received one dose and 75 percent had received two doses.

The CDC says that, since 1967, when the mumps vaccine was licensed, to the early 2000s, the number of reported cases has gone from 186,000 to less than 500 annually but points out that “the effectiveness of the mumps component of the MMR vaccine is lower than that of the measles and rubella components.”

“The CDC hypothesized that the relatively closed social world of the communities and the large family sizes within them have played a role in preventing the disease from spreading further,” according to a brief from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

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