Mumps Outbreak Hits New York, New Jersey
Boy, 11, Got Mumps While in U.K.; 1,521 Sickened as Outbreak Continues
When mumps symptoms do appear, they usually come 16 to 18 days after
infection. Because infection can precede symptoms by up to 25 days, outbreaks
are difficult to control.
In the days before the introduction of the mumps vaccine in 1967, huge waves
of mumps spread across the nation every few years.
"It is believed the vast majority of the population was infected," Gallagher
says. "It's not as infectious as measles, but it spreads very easily via
There is no specific treatment for mumps, which is why vaccination is
strongly recommended. Complications of mumps are more common in people who
already have reached puberty.
Swollen testicles, a complication called orchitis, can lead to sterility,
but much more rarely than once was believed. Permanent deafness is another
feared but relatively rare complication of mumps.
A report on the mumps outbreak appears in the Feb. 12 issue of the CDC's
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.