CDC EXPECTS MUMPS OUTBREAK TO GROW

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

The Centers for Disease Controland Prevention (CDC) hasoffered 25,000 doses of themeasles-mumps-rubella (MMR)vaccine from its stockpile tohelp with the virus outbreak inIowa. The vaccine maker Merckhas donated 25,000 doses to the CDC to use asneeded. CDC officials predicted the mumps epidemicwill continue to spread, given the nature of thevirus and the way the outbreak is progressing. As ofpress time, >1000 had been reported in 8 states,mainly in the Midwest, and possible cases are beinginvestigated in 7 other states.

The epidemic began late last year at an undisclosedIowa university. The bulk of the cases, 815 sofar, have been in Iowa. The CDC has 350 reportedcases in 7 other neighboring states: Minnesota,Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri, andOklahoma. While no one has died from the virus, theCDC confirmed that 20 individuals have been hospitalizedsince the outbreak.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported that64% of the cases have been in patients who received2 doses of the MMR vaccine. The CDC, however,defended the vaccine but noted it is not perfect. "Wehave absolutely no information to suggest there's anyproblem with the vaccine," commented Julie Gerberding,MD, director of the CDC. "The problem is withthe lack of complete coverage with the vaccine."

Beginning in the 1990s, a majority of childrenreceived the mumps vaccine in 2 doses. Many youngadults, however, have had only one shot. The CDCadvised that health care workers and college-ageindividuals make sure they have had 2 doses.