According to the officials from the Arkansas Health Department, a mumps outbreak has hit 30 schools and affected 427 people. Currently, 3 schools and 13 institutions are still contaminated with the virus.
Based on the latest reports, only one more student has contracted the mumps virus out of 24 schools in Springdale. However, Bentonville and Rogers reported other cases in eight schools.
Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) underline that mumps is a childhood illness caused by a virus. Unfortunately, this illness is contagious, so any person contracting the virus should be immediately isolated to avoid spreading the virus.
Mumps causes a large array of symptoms such as the loss of appetite, tiredness, muscle aches, headache, and a few days of fever.
Those suffering from this illness have a puffy jaw or checks due to salivary glands swelling. In some unfortunate cases, mumps can lead to ovaries, testicles, and even brain swelling.
As a countermeasure, the officials from the Arkansas Health Department requests schools to exclude students with MMR exemption for a 26-day period from the date of exposure until the experts deal with the outbreak.
Moreover, health officials strongly recommend parents to vaccinate their children against all childhood illnesses. It is worth mentioning that the MMR vaccine does not apply to adults born before 1957, as experts believe that these people are immune to the mumps virus.
According to statistics, the MMR vaccine is up to 88 percent effective in most cases. Also, the situation is better in Washington as children’s immunization has met a staggering increase this year.
The CDC experts stressed that the statistics from the National Immunization Survey reported that the current vaccination rate in Washington is higher compared with the national median percentage in terms of public health.
More precisely, 9 vaccines out of a total 10 have been administered more often among children population meaning that 72.6 percent of them were vaccinated during last year.
Better still, this percentage has been as high as 77 percent in 2016 meaning that the efforts of health officials certainly paid off. Also, this initiative will continue in order to prevent any future mumps outbreaks.
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