Coming off its highest calendar-year incidence in a decade, mumps struck 495 people in the U.S. in the first 28 days of 2017 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cases are spread across the entire breadth of the country, from Washington to Pennsylvania, pointing to a need for vigilance and preparedness in urgent centers in every region. First, clinics must be ready to assess patients and confirm or dismiss a diagnosis of mumps; while there is no cure to prescribe, patients must be counseled to take precautions (such as reasonable isolation) to avoid infecting others and to get rest and take in more fluids than normal to speed their own recovery. However, the current spike in incidence also speaks to the ongoing need for immunization, and provides timely, solid rationale to discuss with patients who are not up to date on their MMR vaccine. In particular, school-aged children and college students need protection because they’re kept in such close quarters, especially during the winter months. Reach out to local boards of education or student health services to offer your services and to provide educational support as needed.
Ongoing Mumps Surge Speaks to Need for Broad-based Urgent Care