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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mumps Outbreak

From the LA Times, an item sure to come up in the debate on the MMR vaccine:
A mumps outbreak on the East Coast — the largest in the United States in four years — may be spreading to Los Angeles County.

Nine cases of mumps have been reported so far this year, two more than were seen in all of 2009, according to county health officer Jonathan Fielding.

There is also a rise in whooping cough cases, which killed two infants in L.A. County this year, and an increase in measles cases to four so far in 2010, up from one last year.

"I'm always concerned when we see an increase in what has become a rare disease," said Fielding, who added that the infant deaths were particularly disturbing.


Health officials have been concerned about a drop in childhood vaccinations based on allegations, since discredited, that vaccines cause autism. The Times in 2009 reported that a rising number of California parents were choosing to send their children to kindergarten without routine vaccinations, putting hundreds of elementary schools in the state at risk for outbreaks of childhood diseases eradicated in the U.S. years ago.