Ask the experts: MMR vaccine and meningitis

Up to half of people in the US have not been vaccinated against the devastating combination of disease and meningitis What is it? Tracking the prevalence of the four mumps, mumps, rubella, and varicella…

Ask the experts: MMR vaccine and meningitis

Up to half of people in the US have not been vaccinated against the devastating combination of disease and meningitis

What is it?

Tracking the prevalence of the four mumps, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine in the US. The CDC has designed an online tool, https://www.vaccineinfo.gov/sites/default/files/documents/mumps.pdf , to allow people to answer a few questions. Based on their answers the tool asks questions about whether they have had the MMR vaccine as well as the mumps, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine. People who have been vaccinated are less likely to respond to queries about their vaccine status.

How can I use it?

Go to the CDC website and enter your information. You can also call: 1-800-CDC-INFO to ask questions.

Are people still being affected by the mumps outbreak?

Yes. In August five infants died and 143 were hospitalised after being infected with the infection, according to the latest figures available from the CDC. So far in 2018 seven babies have died from the virus.

How serious was the outbreak?

While most people infected in the outbreak have had received one dose of MMR, many of the other 9,068 people have not. Even though most people who were infected had the mumps vaccine, the virus, which is notoriously difficult to combat, can still have a devastating effect on the immune system.

In a collaboration with public health workers and partners the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention managed to isolate and treat some people infected in the outbreak before they got sick. But the CDC admitted in May that it wasn’t likely that the success of the partnership could be replicated elsewhere, adding that the effectiveness of the vaccine and current vaccination rates have limits.

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