Boone County Health Department confirms five cases of mumps

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COLUMBIA - The Boone County Health Department said Thursday all five University of Missouri students with confirmed cases of mumps had previously had both recommended vaccinations for the virus.

A spokesperson for the Boone County Health Department said five cases had been confirmed and two more cases are laboratory pending, with test results expected by the end of the week.

Andrea Waner said the health department is still investigating whether the students knew one another and how the virus was contracted.

Waner also said the mumps vaccine isn't 100 percent effective.

"One dose of the vaccine is 78 percent effective and two does are about 88 percent effective," Waner said. "You have 100 people in a room and 88 are protected and 12 people have less protection to it when they were vaccinated."

Most children receive the first dose after their first birthday and the second before kindergarten. Missouri requires children who wish to attend school to have both.

However, students can get waivers for the vaccines for religious or medical reasons.

Right now, the CDC doesn't recommend a third vaccine.

"Historically speaking, the immunity you receive from the vaccine is life long," Waner said. "So, the two doses you receive early on covers you for your entire life span."

She said she's worked at the Boone County Health Department for two year and hasn't ever seen a mumps cluster this large in the area.

"We are trying to be very proactive in the way we are communicating with the public about what to look for," Waner said.

Dr. Michael Cooperstock, with University Health Systems, said cases of the mumps are usually not isolated.

"Mumps behaves in a funny way," Cooperstock said. "It does occur in clusters, at least that's when we really recognize it." 

Cooperstock said some symptoms of mumps begins with those similar to a cold. 

"You can't tell it's mumps until you get gland swelling," Cooperstock said. 

He said there is no direct treatment other than giving patients fluids and waiting it out. 

Cooperstock said mumps is rarely a serious condition and for most people it runs it's course in a few days.