Officials at the Iowa Department of Public Health dispute published reports that say the state’s mumps epidemic is on the decline. The latest count is 14-hundred-87 mumps cases this year in 74 of Iowa’s 99 counties.
State Health Department spokesman Kevin Teale says a recent report claimed the rate of new cases was falling, but he says that’s not right. He says there’s no slowdown in the epidemic, with a continued rate of 30 to 50 new cases reported every day.
Teale says more than half of the patients thought they were protected. He says in those cases where follow-up investigations were conducted, just over 54-percent said they’d had two of the mumps vaccines.
Teale says that doesn’t mean the vaccine doesn’t work, but it’s only effective 90-to-95 percent of the time, so even people who’ve had the shot can still get mumps. He says that percentage is “on par” with an outbreak this large.
Most cases are being reported in Iowans between 17 and 24. Dubuque County continues to lead the state with 430 mumps cases reported, followed by Black Hawk County with 200 cases and Johnson County with 183.