TIME Disease Outbreak

Ohio Mumps Outbreak Spreads to 116

Most of the cases identified so far are at Ohio State University, but the illness has spread to other parts of Columbus, according to a state health official. Four people have been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak

The mumps outbreak in Columbus, Ohio, has worsened in recent weeks as the disease, once confined to Ohio State University, has spread to other parts of the city.

The number of confirmed cases of mumps in Columbus has quadrupled to 116, though most of those affected are still students and staff at the university, or their relatives. Four people have been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak. There have also been four reported cases of orochitis — swelling of the testicles that can cause infertility — and one case of potential deafness, Reuters reports. Complications from mumps can be permanent.

A disease that causes painful swelling of the salivary glands, mumps is extremely rare in the United States — reported cases have dropped 98% since widespread vaccination began in the 1960s. A health officials said between 10% and 20% of the population is vulnerable to mumps even if they have been vaccinated.

In 2006, another multistate outbreak centered on universities infected almost 6,600 people.


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