Intisar Faulkner, Ozarks News Brief

SPRINGFIELD-Eleven, that’s the number of confirmed cases of Mumps in Greene County as of last week.

Although it’s not considered an outbreak, it’s still alarming for the Springfield area.

“We don’t see Mumps cases very often. From a historical perspective, prior to 1965 there were 288,000 cases reported in the U.S. every year and during a normal flu season there’s two to three hundred cases reported nationwide,” according to officials of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

The vaccine preventable disease has seen outbreaks recently in Columbia, MO and Northwest Arkansas.

The Health Department says it’s not a disease most see on a regular basis. All the cases right now however have been associated with MU or Northwest, Arkansas.

Health officials are concerned however of the decrease in vaccination.

In fact in 2016, there were more reported cases of mumps in the U.S. than in the past decade.

Mumps may not be as infectious as measles says the health department, but is still easily spread person to person and can be concerning if there’s an under-immunized population. The vaccine is 88% effective against mumps, measles, and rubella and very safe according to the center for disease control and prevention.

However the disease can be contracted from something as common as coughing or sneezing or even touching contaminated hands or materials.

The most recognizable symptoms are swelling of the neck and jaw but in more sever cases, swelling of the brain and deafness.

Officials are urging families to get their children vaccinated before they are exposed to the diseas and urge anyone who thins they may have symptoms to checked immediately.