Health officials in Central Ohio say mumps cases now total 439. That's one more than was reported across the entire U.S. in 2013.
The current outbreak has affected Franklin, Madison and Delaware counties.
It's the highest number of mumps cases reported since 1979 when there were 930 cases throughout the year.
“The large number of cases in this mumps outbreak is a grim reminder that highly infectious, vaccine preventable diseases can spread quickly and affect large numbers of people,” said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Teresa Long in a news release. “We are only protected when our community is protected, and anytime we have unvaccinated and under-vaccinated groups, we are all at risk.”
Local health department commissioners urge individuals at highest risk of mumps to get vaccinated with measles-mumps-rubella (MMR).
Two doses of MMR are needed for protection. Anyone who has not received any doses of MMR and those who have received only one dose of MMR should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Additionally, people born before 1987 are likely to have received just one or no MMR doses and should also be vaccinated.