Mumps is more on the minds of doctors finding Iowa’s confirmed sixty cases already this year. Iowa State Medical Director Doctor Patricia Quinlisk says that particular disease hasn’t been much of a factor for some time.
However, in the last year there have been spot outbreaks of the disease in the U.S., and Quinlisk says for some reason we’re seeing some now in Iowa. Since it’s around, she reminds everyone to get vaccinated. The state health department’s actively looking for cases, and has confirmed about 60 since the first of the year.
When such a rare disease reappears, Quinlisk says it’s often a case where someone’s traveled out of Iowa, been exposed, and brought the germ back home. She says quite a few cases are showing up in college-age students, on several Iowa campuses. The doctor says it’s understandable, since a disease like mumps can be spread by things like kissing.
Some students come from out of state, or even from foreign countries, another way the disease could reappear where it’s been largely unheard-of for a long time. It may be a group of people who got only one dose of the childhood vaccine, and aren’t as immune as those who got the recommended two doses. Dr. Quinlisk is also the state epidemiologist in Iowa’s Department of Public Health.