By Stacy Kess
Nearly two dozen new cases of mumps have been reported in the Ohio mumps outbreak since Friday.
Columbus Public Health, which tracks all mumps cases linked to Franklin, Delaware and Madison counties or linked to the initial outbreak at The Ohio State University, reported 453 cases. The Ohio Department of Health reported 432 cases across 17 counties June 25. As of Wednesday, ODH reported a new case in Delaware County, bringing the total to 41. CPH has also reported OSU outbreak-related cases in Indiana and North Carolina.
CPH reported the Central Ohio Mumps Outbreak exceeded the total cases reported in 2013 nationally — 438 — and is the largest Ohio outbreak since 1979 when 928 cases were reported in Columbus and Franklin County and four were reported in Madison County.
Nationally, the largest mumps outbreak in the last decade occurred in 2006, when more than 6,000 individuals, many of whom attended Midwest colleges, were infected.
ODH also reported new cases in the measles outbreak currently affecting nine Ohio counties. Since the outbreak began in April in Knox County, there have been 10 hospitalizations and the disease has infected individuals younger than 6 months of age. California is also experiencing a small, unrelated measles outbreak that began earlier this year and has affected 60 individuals as of June 27. In both outbreaks, the first patients identified had traveled internationally to areas where active outbreaks are occurring.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the Ohio and California outbreaks, combine with other cases around the nation, have brought the number of measles cases to a 20-year high.
“The current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people, primarily U.S. residents, who got measles in other countries, brought the virus back to the United States and spread to others in communities where many people are not vaccinated,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, in a CDC statement. “Many of the clusters in the U.S. began following travel to the Philippines where a large outbreak has been occurring since October 2013.”
Public health officials continue to urge caution when traveling in to areas with active measles outbreaks and to ensure measles, mumps and rubella vaccines (MMR) are up-to-date. MMR is a two-dose vaccine given to children before primary school age; the first dose is administered between 12 and 15 months of age, though children as young as 6 months can receive the vaccine if traveling internationally, according to the CDC.
MMR is available through the Delaware General Health District, primary care providers and available at vaccinating pharmacies.
Reporter Stacy Kess can be found on Twitter @StacyMKess.