A mumps outbreak at Ohio State University has state and federal officials concerned that additional cases will be reported before the outbreak subsides. Investigators also reported that of the 28 cases, all but one of the individuals received vaccinations against the mumps virus.
According to a March 18 report from Reuters, “officials are concerned the number could rise with students returning from spring break, a city health department spokesman said on Tuesday.”
The CDC recommends that young children receive two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine.
However, Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for the Columbus Public Health Department, said “even within folks that are vaccinated, they are still at risk of illness,” stating that likelihood of a vaccinated individual getting mumps is at “10 to 20 percent.”
Rodriguez said most of those infected had received at least one MMR vaccination and cautioned that additional cases are likely expected. “The possibility is always there for more cases,” Rodriguez said. “With the long incubation period mumps has, it is a recipe for a prolonged outbreak.”
The incubation for mumps, which onset with painful swelling of the salivary glands, can be anywhere from two weeks to close to a month, though the typical period is 16–18 days.
The Columbus Public Health Department and the CDC is asking that students receive a second booster shot, if they only had one, and if any students or faculty have not had an MMR shot, the school is recommending they get one.
The outbreak has raised controversy over those in anti-vaccine camps, as well as those who state that "herd immunity" does not offer protection within largely vaccinated populations.