We're Never Really Out of the Woods

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Largest epidemic of mumps in 20 years hits Iowa and spreads to surrounding states. More than 1,000 cases have been reported, and about half the 800+ cases in Iowa have been college students with childhood vaccinations. (Adults run greater risks from the infection.) The United States normally experiences 250 to 300 mumps cases in a year. An outbreak last year in the United Kingdom resulted in 56,000 cases. Canucks issue travel warning. Freepers are already making the mumps-immigrants connection.

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  1. I remember having an MMR booster a couple of years before I went to college. Fortunately, it didn’t make me autistic.

  2. Timothy-the thing about this version is that it seems to bypass the vaccine in an unusual number of cases. The immunization is supposed to be 80% effective with one shot, and 95% with a two-shot course, but the numbers suggest that the failure rate may be a bit higher.
    On the positive side, it’s not all that scary a disease. In about 20% of cases, it never even becomes symtomatic. Serious complications are rare, although they do occur.

  3. Hmmm….lots of scare stories in conservative cirlces about immunizations causing Autism followed by lots of kids in those regions getting mumps. Cause and effect?

  4. EB: No, since I think most of us got our MMRs 20+ years ago…

    In a strange coincidence, my wife and I just got over a bacterial throat infection that behaved a hell of a lot like the mumps… She swelled up around the throat, had a fever, sore throat, etc.. but after three(!) trips to the Dr they finally did a lab test and found a bacterial infection.

  5. Had mumps when I was in elementary school — all I really remember is that it was unpleasant, and I spent a long time out of school (at least 2 weeks, I think).

    Out of all the diseases I knew of that kids had when I was in school, I think whooping cough sounded the scariest. Imagine having a bronchitis-like cough for months on end, holy christ, pass the codiene, please…

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