March 27, 2014 6:06 AM EDT

An outbreak of Mumps has struck Ohio State University and is spreading beyond campus, with people who have no connection to the school coming down with the disease. Mumps, caused by a virus, leads to fever, headaches, fatigue and painful swelling of the salivary glands. More than 60 cases have been reported in and around OSU.

New York City is facing a similar outbreak with measles–which was officially eradicated in the U.S. in 2000. “If you are unvaccinated and you come in contact with measles, there’s a 90% chance you will get it,” says Jason McDonald, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both outbreaks come amid the ongoing antivaccine noise made by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy who erroneously link vaccines to autism. But the fact is, vaccines save lives. Since the first vaccine against mumps was introduced in 1967, cases have dropped about 99%. Polio has been eradicated in the U.S.

It’s not impossible for vaccine-preventable diseases to pop up occasionally; the mumps vaccine, for example, is only 88% effective. But sudden clusters–and the Ohio and New York cases qualify–suggest a breakdown of what’s known as herd immunity, with a virus finding its way into a population and spreading freely. That typically happens when too many people never got vaccinated.

This appears in the April 07, 2014 issue of TIME.

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