Beware of Mumps

Mumps, the illness many associate with childhood, can infect people of all ages and has been on the rise as some neglect to immunize themselves or their children. The Tennessee Department of Health is concerned about increases in mumps cases, including an ongoing outbreak in neighboring Arkansas which so far involves more than 2,400 suspected or confirmed cases of the illness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all adults born in 1957 or more recently who have not had mumps receive at least one dose of the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR vaccine in their lifetimes. Two doses are recommended for adults in high-risk settings: those attending college, working in a healthcare facility or traveling internationally. People born before 1957 are presumed to be immune through natural illness in childhood. Some may not recall having mumps because one-third of mumps cases are extremely mild or without symptoms.
State health leaders strongly encourage children more than one year of age and adults under 60 who do not know if they had mumps as a child and do not recall receiving mumps vaccine at some point in their lives to get the MMR vaccine.
Two doses of MMR vaccine are required for school and college students in Tennessee. MMR vaccine is available at all county health departments to any individual for whom protection from these diseases is desired. Certain insurance companies may be billed. Sliding scale fees based on income are available to people without insurance. Call your health care provider or your local health department for an appointment and for answers to questions you may have.