Mumps on the rise in the U.S.

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The mumps are making a comeback in the United States. I mean the disease, not a post-modern punk band. The disease rose to an alarming rate in 2006, and it is feared it may take decades to eradicate it from this country.

These findings come despite the fact that many were re-vaccinated against mumps in 1990. Over 80 percent of people between the ages of 18-24 who contracted the virus were given a second does of the vaccine produced by Merck. Over 6,500 cases were diagnosed in 2006, including 85 that required hospitalization. Concentration was found in eight states (not listed) as well as college campuses.

Thankfully, no deaths were attributed to the mumps virus. Symptoms of the mumps include fever and swollen glands. Permanent adverse effects can be as severe as loss of hearing, inflammation of the testicles and encephalitis. The finding were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Eradicating the mumps all together is not likely as other countries do not necessarily vaccinate against the disease. And many nations do not dose their children twice, such as the UK, who experienced an outbreak of 70,000 cases between 40,000 and 60,000.

Concern does exist regarding the vaccine itself, which is a combination of measles, mumps and rubella. Some feel that children are too small to receive such a heavy dose of vaccination. Health experts contend these concerns are unfounded.

Vaccine pic by gruntzooki.

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