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Mumps Outbreak in Northwest Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is investigating an outbreak of Mumps in northwest Arkansas.

CURRENT CASE COUNT:
The ADH will now report all suspected and lab confirmed cases of mumps as part of the total case count. Total Cases Under Investigation: 1,085*
*This is an active outbreak. Mumps case counts are provisional and include cases that are currently being investigated. Because this number is provisional, the numbers reported may occasionally decrease if lab tests are negative for mumps.  Read more >>

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Over 850 Cases of Mumps in Arkansas Outbreak

The Arkansas Department of Health reports that a mumps outbreak continues to be primarily focused in the northwestern portion of the state. As of October 28, 2016, Benton, Madison, Pulaski, and Washington are the counties involved.

There are currently 26 workplaces, 3 school districts, and 2 private schools impacted.

As of today, there are a total of 856 cases under investigation, which include individuals who have displayed symptoms related to mumps or have received lab confirmation that they are positive for the virus.

“We are very concerned about this outbreak,” said Dirk Haselow, MD, PhD, State Epidemiologist and Outbreak Response Medical Director for ADH. “Mumps can have serious complications. We continue to see a high number of new cases. Pulaski County residents should be aware of this outbreak and the potential for infection and should ensure that they are up-to-date with their MMR vaccine.”

More information is available on the Arkansas Department of Health mumps update page.

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CDC now recommends just two HPV vaccine doses for preteens

WASHINGTON POST: Children who start getting vaccinated against human papillomavirus before 15 need only two doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided Wednesday.

Its previous recommendation was for a three-shot regimen, but studies have shown that two doses work just as well. Experts predict that the simpler, more flexible timeline will result in higher rates of HPV vaccination, which has lagged among both girls and boys.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which counsels the CDC on the nation’s vaccine schedule, voted Wednesday for the change. Several hours later, CDC Director Tom Frieden accepted the panel’s action.

Under the new schedule, the first of two doses of the HPV vaccine should be administered at 11 or 12, although it could be given as early as 9, as under the previous guidance. The second dose would be administered six to 12 months after the first dose.

The new recommendation does not apply to adolescents who begin getting vaccinated after they turn 15. They should still get three shots over a six-month period, the panel said.

The HPV vaccine prevents cervical, vaginal, anal, and head and neck cancers, as well as precancerous lesions and genital warts. The most widely used vaccine is Gardasil, manufactured by Merck.

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Anti-Vaxxer Mom Changes Mind After Her Three Kids Fall Ill

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(Yahoo News) Kristen O’Meara chose not to vaccinate her young daughters because she was a big believer in anti-vaccination research. That changed when all three were stricken with a case of rotavirus, which causes acute stomach distress.

“It was awful, and it didn’t have to happen, because I could have had them vaccinated. I felt guilty. I felt really guilty,” she told ABC News.

O’Meara and her husband also fell ill.

A teacher living outside Chicago, she added that she had “scoured everything” about why vaccines might be harmful and had become “pretty convinced.” She chose not to vaccinate based on the results of her research but had read only material that cast doubt.

“I put my kids at risk,” she said. “I wish that I had taken more time to research from both sides before my children were born.”

Her three children — all under the age of 7 — are now fully vaccinated, after an aggressive regimen to bring them up to date on recommended shots.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccinations for practically every child, but in a study published last month the group says the number of parents who are refusing to vaccinate their children appears to be on the rise. In 2013, 87 percent of pediatricians surveyed had encountered patients who refused a vaccine for their child, up from 75 percent in 2006, according to their research

Among the most common reasons cited by parents for their refusal to vaccinate their children was their belief that vaccinations are unnecessary, the report said. Parents also cited a purported link between vaccinations and autism — a link that has been repeatedly disproved because the research it was based on was proved fraudulent.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and dozens of other public health groups have stressed for years that vaccines are safe and necessary. They also say that the large majority of children must be immunized from diseases such as measles, mumps and chicken pox not only to protect individuals but also to confer herd immunity on communities.

After her frightening wake-up call, O’Meara is encouraging others to vaccinate their children.

“I’m here because I wanted to share my personal story … and if it does help someone change their mind, then that’s great,” she said.

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Arkansas Mumps Epidemic Escalates to 360 Cases

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is investigating an outbreak of Mumps in northwest Arkansas.

CURRENT CASE COUNT:
The ADH will now report all suspected and lab confirmed cases of mumps as part of the total case count.
Total Cases Under Investigation: 360

Mumps Update Report
Mumps Report Q&A

mumps_notify_09082016Updated 9/28/16  4:15 PM In response to the outbreak, ADH is requiring students in the same school with vaccine exemptions for the MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella) vaccine to be excluded from school for 26 days from the date of exposure and until the outbreak has ended. Students with non-medical exemptions, who receive the recommended doses of MMR vaccine, may return to school immediately. Right now, this outbreak affects schools in the Huntsville, Rogers, and Springdale School Districts. ADH is working with people who have potentially been exposed and contacting area clinics and hospitals to make sure they are aware that they may see cases of Mumps.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mumps is a viral illness that is transmitted by direct contact with respiratory droplets or saliva from an infected person. It is best known for painful, swollen salivary glands thatshow up as puffy cheeks and swollen jaw. Boys may also have painful, swollen testicles. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscles aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. There is no treatment, and symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few weeks. Mumps is usually a mild disease in children, but adults may have more serious disease with complications.

The MMR vaccine is safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine is 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. It is a live virus vaccine and is not recommended for pregnant women or patients with a weakened immune system. Adults born before 1957 are generally considered to be immune to mumps and do not need to receive the MMR vaccine.

The current CDC recommendations for MMR vaccination are as follows:

  • For children younger than 6 years of age, one dose of MMR vaccine or MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella) vaccine at age 12-15 months, followed by a second dose of either MMR vaccine or MMRVvaccine at age 4-6 years.
  • For children age 7 through 18 years not previously vaccinated, one dose of MMR vaccine or MMRV vaccine, followed by a second dose of either MMR vaccine or MMRV vaccine at least 4 weeks after the first dose.
  • For adults born in 1957 or later and not previously vaccinated, one dose of MMR vaccine.
  • A second dose of MMR vaccine is recommended for adults born in 1957 or later, who are students in a post-secondary educational institution, work in a health care facility, or plan to travel internationally.The second dose should be administered a minimum of 28 days after the first dose.

MMR vaccines are available at the Local Health Unit in your county, and may also be available at your doctor’s office or your local pharmacy.

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Flu Shot: Your Best Bet for Avoiding Influenza

MAYO CLINIC:  Getting a flu shot often protects you from coming down with the flu. And although the flu shot doesn’t always provide total protection, it’s worth getting. This year’s annual flu shot will offer protection against the H1N1 flu virus, in addition to two other influenza viruses that are expected to be in circulation this flu season.
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Arizona measles outbreak largest in U.S.

FOX NEWS:  Health officials in Arizona say the largest current measles outbreak in the United States is in part because some workers at a federal immigration detention center refuse to get vaccinated. Authorities have confirmed 22 measles cases in Arizona since late May. They all stem from the Eloy Detention Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility managed by the private Corrections Corporation of America.  

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Health officials urge parents to get required vaccines

Mississippi Public Broadcasting: With the first day of school just a few weeks away for many Mississippi children, health officials are urging parents not to wait until the last minute to get the required back-to-school immunizations. Mississippi state law requires children be immunized against certain childhood diseases before they start school, public or private, as well as Head Start and daycare programs.

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Why we worry about measles, and why you should—as in now

CBS4-DENVER: You might think the fuss over one case of measles is no big deal, but you may want to think again. Out of all of the “typical” childhood diseases that were becoming rarer, measles has been making a big comeback – and that’s a worry because the disease can be a killer. – Dr. Dave Hnida

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