8 Midwest States Now Reporting Mumps Outbreaks

DESMOINES, Iowa – Several Midwestern states are reporting an outbreak of mumps, the largest in the nation in 20 years.

Iowa has had 600 cases since December. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the other states that have reported cases of mumps include Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. An eighth unnamed state has also reported an outbreak.

Most of the cases in Iowa have occurred on university campuses.

CDC officials are investigating to see if the disease is being spread by airplane passengers. Those who were potentially exposed to two infected travelers will be contacted by the agency.

Of particular interest to the CDC are five March 26-29 Northwest Airlines flights with stops in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Washington. Four April 2 American Airlines flights with stops in Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Iowa are also being investigated. Currently, however, no transmissions of mumps on those flights have been reported.

The best way to be protected from the disease is to be vaccinated. Most U.S. children get these vaccinations, which have a 95-percent success rate.

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