The Facts & Stats on MMR

Due to a recent outbreak, mumps has been in the news lately. This once common viral illness is now rare as a result of widespread use of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Unfortunately, with vaccination rates declining, mumps and other preventable illnesses are making a comeback. In the first four months of this year in Illinois, there have been 65 confirmed cases of mumps compared to only 26 in all of 2013.

Mumps is caused by a virus and spread human to human. Typical symptoms are fever, headache, body aches and fatigue followed by swelling of the salivary glands. One or both of the parotid glands which sit in front of the ears are often involved, making the face look swollen. More serious complications of mumps include orchitis (infection and inflammation of the testicles which can result in sterility in males) as well as involvement of the kidneys, pancreas, heart or nervous system. During the first trimester of pregnancy, mumps is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage.

Once infected, there is no specific treatment for mumps. The best way to protect your child is by making sure she receives the MMR vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC recommend a dose after the first birthday and age between the ages of 4 and 6 years old. The MMR vaccine is safe and effective. If you have questions about your child’s vaccination status, the MMR vaccine or the mumps virus, gives our office a call.

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