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Mumps has been diagnosed in our area

As a parent, you play an important role in keeping your child safe.

Mumps was once a common illness. Prior to 1957, most adults contracted the illness. In 1964 there were 186,000 cases reported in the United States. However, by 2012 the number of reported cases of mumps had been reduced to just 229.

There is no treatment for the disease. The best way to keep your family safe from this illness is to be vaccinated

How serious is mumps?

Most people recover completely from mumps within a few weeks. However, the disease can cause serious complications. Some include:

  • Meningitis or encephalitis - An inflammation of the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord or inflammation of the brain.
  • Orchitis - An inflammation of the testicle, causing pain and tenderness of the testicles, rarely leads to infertility problems.
  • Mastitis - Inflammation and tenderness of breast tissue.
  • Oophoritis - Inflammation of the ovary which may cause abdominal pain and vomiting.
  • Pancreatitis - An inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Deafness - Permanent damage to hearing.

Vaccinate your child for the best protection!

There is no treatment for mumps. Once contracted, care is provided to minimize the pain of symptoms and provide comfort to the child. Parents have questions about the vaccine. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and my answers. If you have concerns, your child's health care provider will be happy to provide more specific information for your family.

Who should receive the vaccine?

All children, adolescents and adults born in 1957 or later should be immunized. The vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Physicians (ACP).

What vaccination is available?

Mumps vaccine was first available in 1967 and combined to form the MMR vaccine in 1971. Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is a childhood combination vaccinations given against these diseases.

In 2005 a vaccine that combines MMR with a vaccine to prevent chicken pox (varicella) was also introduced (MMRV). Your physician can help determine with best vaccine for your family’s situation.

At what ages should you receive the vaccination?

The MMR vaccine is first administered at 12 months old. A second dose of the vaccine is given at 4 to 6 years of age. However, if 28 days have passed since the first dose is administered, a second dose may be given before the age of 4.

People who have had mumps are immune for life.

Is the vaccine safe?

The MMR shot is very safe. It is effective at preventing the mumps (as well as measles and rubella). Most children have no side effects. Side effects which do occur are usually very mild and may include a fever or rash.

Does the vaccine cause autism?

Scientists with the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, after extensive testing, have found no link between the MMR shot and autism.

How can I prevent the spread of the disease?

Children should stay out of school until the symptoms have subsided and minimize contact with other people in the home.

Practice good basic hygiene such as thorough hand-washing, covering a sneeze or cough and regularly cleaning frequently touched surfaces to prevent spreading or contracting the illness.

Karen K. Meyer, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic Hawthorne Court (178 & Q)

Dr. Meyer answers your questions about child development and parenting. Dr. Meyer decided to become a doctor when she was in school and learned about the body's systems and the miracle of how they all work together. She likes talking to children and helping them feel better. Dr. Meyer believes that children are not little adults and they need to be treated in a way that will help them understand why they aren't feeling well and what they can do to get better. She also works to build tru ...

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