U.S. mumps outbreak likely to worsen

April 20, 2006

Federal officials say the outbreak of mumps centered in the U.S. Midwest is likely to spread before it can be reined in with vaccinations and quarantines.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said 25,000 doses of vaccine are being shipped from its stockpile to Iowa, the center of the outbreak, and another 25,000 donated by Merck & Co. are headed to Iowa and six other affected states.

The number of cases has more than doubled in the past week, with at least 1,100 reported, The Washington Post said.

The epidemic has disproportionately affected young, healthy adults, including many college students, Gerberding said.

Mumps is a viral disease that is spread like the flu by infected people coughing and sneezing. Common symptoms are sore throat, body aches, fever and swollen glands in the jaw.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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