Health officials report the Central Ohio Mumps outbreak is persisting. As of Tuesday April 22nd, 263 people have fallen ill to the virus.
Doctor Whitacre, Medical Director of the Zanesville Muskingum County Health Department is cautioning viewers in our area to be aware of what's happening in our surroundings. One of the latest cases has appeared as close as Licking county. Viewers who were born in the 60s 70s and even 80s need to check their medical records.
"The change was right around 1982 in the vaccine. A lot of children did not get both immunizations, some did, some didn't. It's recommended that you get a shot around the age of 15 months and then get a repeat in your kindergarten shots. But it was not required in the 80s that you get that second shot," said Dr. Vicki Whitacre, Medical Director, ZMCHD.
If you are unsure if you've had the disease or the two current immunizations, check your health records. Many states also keep registries as well, but Dr. Whitacre cautions patients that Ohio registries are really only most accurate in the past ten years. Whitacre says the vaccine is a very safe vaccine and it will not hurt patients if they received a vaccination now and also in childhood
"I don't think we're really going to be able to prevent the mumps in our area because of the way people travel," said Dr. Whitacre, "what you can do is protect yourself. If you've had the mumps and know you've had the mumps as a child, like I did, you have as good a protection as you can have and should not need to worry about it."
If you are unsure of your immunity to mumps, see your doctor and get a vaccination for MMR or call the health department and arrange for it to be given to you. Their number is (740) 454-9741