Mumps cases tied to Wilmington dance events rise

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Watch the report from registered nurse Ali Gorman on Action News at 4:30 p.m. on March 29, 2018. (WPVI)

The tally in a two-state mumps outbreak tied to a pair of dance events at Wilmington's Chase Center continues to rise.

Delaware health officials on Thursday said they have 11 confirmed cases among people from one to 35 years of age.

Chester County's health department has 19 adult and pediatric cases, along with two pending cases.

Montgomery County has two confirmed cases, and a suspected case.

All among the 2,500 people who attended two Mexican Dance social dance events on February 10th and March 3rd.

What we're seeing here is following a national trend - a resurgence of the mumps.

The Centers for Disease Control recorded 282 mumps cases in 2012.

In 2016, that number jumped to more than 6,000 cases.

Mumps is a virus. It causes fever, muscles aches, and the tell-tale sign is swollen salivary glands.
Typically, the illness is mild, but occasionally there are severe complications, including inflammation of the brain and reproductive organs, and hearing loss.

Kids are vaccinated with the two spread-out doses of the MMR vaccine.

However, new research shows that in some people the vaccine can wear off eight to 19 years later. That could be why we've seen several outbreaks on college campuses.

"And it's a very contagious virus, so that when it's introduced into a community, if you have individuals who don't have protection against it, it really spreads very rapidly," says Dr. Camille Sabella, an infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic.
Mumps is spread through saliva, things like kissing, sharing utensils or cups or e-cigarettes can easily transmit the virus.

Local health officials are asking anyone who attended the dance festivals, call your healthcare provider to be evaluated.

And you may need a booster shot of the vaccine.

It may turn out that in the future, everyone should get a booster shot of the mumps vaccine. Some colleges are already recommending it, and researchers are looking into whether that could decrease the number of outbreaks.

In the military, every recruit gets a booster shot and they have not had any outbreaks.

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