Health officials are monitoring a central Ohio mumps outbreak that has spread to outlying counties and local health experts are urging people to get their MMR vaccinations.
Nearly 90 cases of mumps have been reported in Ohio, areas affected include Franklin, Licking, Fairfield, Hamilton and Union counties. The Zanesville Muskingum County Health Department says in order for vaccines to be effective mass amounts of people must receive them.
" That’s why we encourage everybody to get vaccinated because it provides a herd immunization, so what the means is everybody who gets vaccinated gets protection including those people who don’t get vaccinated because they are allergic to components of the vaccine," said Immunization Coordinator for the Zanesville Muskingum County Health Department, Jamie Heizman.
Heizman says although vaccines are generally effective there is always a chance of an outbreak unless the disease is completely eradicated from the population.
" That’s what we are seeing right now with the mumps case over in Ohio State. You’re seeing that 20 percent, the vaccine is actually rated at 90 to 95 percent effectiveness, so you’re seeing that five to ten percent of people getting that disease it looks a lot bigger when you look at the numbers small," said Heizman.
Heizman says that compared to the number of students attending the school, the number of cases is relatively small. To keep numbers down she suggests parents get their children immunized. People usually receive the MMR vaccine twice in their lifetimes. For more info you can visit the health department’s website online.