Mumps virus eruption seems to have badly hit the areas of Arkansas, Illinois and Iowa, with the outbreak cases still continuing to be on the rise.

Mumps Cases Top Charts In 2016

The areas of Arkansas, Illinois and Iowa were struck by mumps in August 2016 and the outbreak has been on the rise since then. The number of virus affected cases, reported by health personnel each year, used to be few hundred, but in the last five months, they have reached the total of more than 4,000.

"Mumps is a highly infectious disease," said Dr. Dirk Haselow, the Arkansas state epidemiologist, in a press release. "People who cough or sneeze can spread it to people in their general area. But what really caused it to take hold in our outbreak was population density and poverty."

North West Arkansas Identified As The Centre Of Mumps Outbreak

Arkansas seems to be the center of the mumps outbreak which originated this year, in August. More than 2,200 of 4,000 cases reported are from Arkansas and most of the victims belong to the Marshall Islanders community. Marshallese populace is a very small portion of the total population of the area, but 60 percent of the total 2,200 victims belong to their community.

Director of Department of State Health, Dr. Nate Smith has no clue of the reason why Marshallese people are so badly getting infected, though; he noted that these people do like to live in each other's proximity.

"It's a little bit more like a college dorm in terms of intensity of exposure," said Smith in a press release. He further said that the Marshallese people are more "community-oriented," and like assembling in public places like church, community centers, etc., where chances of spreading of virus infections are higher.

Mumps Vaccine Often Proves Ineffective

The mumps vaccine or MMR is a combined vaccination for Mumps, Measles and Rubella. Around 50 vaccination clinics have been set up by the state to help improve the general immunity rate.

According to Manisha Patel, medical officer at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the mumps vaccine works effectively on 88 out of 100 people vaccinated. She says that the vaccine has a comparatively weaker component for mumps than for measles and rubella.

Though the strike rate of mumps vaccine is not 100 percent, but it was useful enough to eradicate the mumps epidemics, prevailing in the United States till 1960. The cases reported that time were in millions, but now they are reduced to being somewhere between 100 and 1,000 each year.

Mumps is an extremely contagious disease and can spread easily through sneezing and coughing. Highly populated and poverty stricken areas are more susceptible to being hit by this disease. The common symptom of mumps is swelling of glands below the ears.

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