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Mumps Outbreak

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 04:30:14 CDT

Officials are monitoring two recent outbreaks of mumps in central Illinois. There are usually only 35 reported cases of mumps a year in Illinois. But this year, we're already at twice that number. That has health officials in Morgan and Sangamon Counties scrambling to contain the highly contagious disease. Dr. Lamar Hasbrouck, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, says vaccinations are key to understanding the problem -- and fixing it. Though vaccination is required by law in order to attend school in Illinois, Hasbrouck says in any given year, about 60,000 children are not immunized:

"What we don't have is the vigilance on behalf of parents, and we don't have the vigilance, in my opinion, on behalf of the schools, who need to really reinforce and enforce the laws and say, 'Well, no, Johnny can't come to school unless he brings proof of his vaccination.' "

Hasbrouck says an outbreak of mumps can be expensive, both in extra demands on health professionals, and missed work and school for those infected.

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