Outbreaks of mumps and measles hit the U.S.

By Stefanie Bryant | sbryant@ktalnews.tv

Published 05/13 2014 11:30AM

Updated 05/13 2014 11:21PM

According to the Centers for Disease Control, since the vaccination program began in the 1960's, there's been more than a 99% decrease in the United States of these two diseases.  But there's been a resurgence of these two diseases.

According to the CDC, more than 200 cases of mumps have hit the U.S. with most occurring on college campuses. 

Dr. Joseph Bocchini, chairman of Pediatrics at LSU Health Shreveport says, "I think it's a reminder to parents, that even though we got over a 99% control of the infection, the virus is still out there."

A virus, that if left untreated, Bocchini, says could lead to serious problems; "It can have neurological complications; children can get meninititis, encephalitis."

Since the introduction of the mumps vaccine, the disease was pretty much eradicated. These recent outbreaks, Dr. Bochini says can be broken down into two groups; "They've been in a group of people who've chosen not to get their children immunized."  He continues, "The second group are people who've been immunized, who are for a number of reasons, on college campuses, close quarters."
Jamarcus Edwards says it was a no brainer to get his son, six month old, Jaceon immunized; "It's worth it for him.  It's something he's got to go through."

Jaceon's mother agrees; "Ii believe it's important for all kids to get vaccinated.  You get some parents out here, who don't believe in that."

According to the CDC, vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the last 20 years. Despite its success, outbreaks do occur. Like a recent measles outbreak. There have been 13 outbreaks since April 2014 and 129 reported cases.

Dr. Bocchini says, "Measles is a more serious infection and the mortality/deaths associated is 1 in 1000 children with measles will die from complications of measles.."

Most of those who contracted the disease, traveled out of the country or were never immunized, according to one report. 

But there are some who have been immunized and still got it.
Dr. Bocchini explains, "We do see what we call breakthrough cases, cases of infection, even thought the person is immunized."

And he says it's that's reason, which makes  getting immunized so important, to protect those who can't properly respond to the vaccine.


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