State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk says Iowa and the rest of the country have been experiencing more cases of the mumps. “What we’ve seen in Iowa since last summer is about 550 cases of mumps reported to us. Now I’ll just tell you that number is probably under reported,” she says.
Doctor Quinlisk says that’s way above past years. “Typically in Iowa we’ve had maybe, 5, 10, 15 cases of mumps reported each year,” according to Quinlisk. Part of the increase is linked to college towns.
“The highest rate of mumps that we’ve had is in Johnson County where the University of Iowa is located,” Quinlisk says. There were with 293 mumps cases in Johnson County. Black Hawk County, home to the University of Northern Iowa, has the second highest number of mumps cases at 98.
“We are watching Black Hawk County very closely. Good news is — in Johnson County — the numbers do seem to be slowing, going down, so that seems to be resolving,” Quinlisk says. She says it’s not surprising to see an increase in mumps in the two areas where there are colleges, because young adults’ mumps immunity from childhood shots is waning, and mumps spreads among those in close living conditions.
Doctor Quinlisk says mumps outbreaks peak periodically — citing the year 2006 as an example — when Iowa reported 2,000 cases during a six-month period.
Thanks to Dean Borg, Iowa Public Radio