Vaccinated or not, the mumps are on the rise again — What you need to know

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 5:31 PM

A children's doctor injects a vaccine against measles, rubella, mumps and chicken pox into an infant.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
A children's doctor injects a vaccine against measles, rubella, mumps and chicken pox into an infant.(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Last year, there were more than 6,000 cases of the contagious disease mumps reported in the United States — the highest number in 10 years.

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That’s according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends everyone 15 months and older receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, which protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella.

There’s been a more than 99 percent decrease in mumps cases since the pre-vaccine era and in 2010, the total annual cases were down in the hundreds.

But in recent years, there have been multiple mumps outbreaks reported across the country.

>> Related: Vaccine requirements for Georgia students

In fact, the number of reported cases increased from 229 in 2012 to more than 6,000 cases in 2016.

The last major outbreaks occurred in 2006, when the U.S. saw more than 6,500 reported cases, predominantly in the Midwest and among college-aged students.

Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 7 this year, 47 states and the District of Columbia have reported approximately 4,667 cases to the CDC.

Syracuse University in New York confirmed 37 mumps cases Friday, an outbreak that began in August mainly among athletes on campus.

According to Syracuse.com, to contain the outbreak, the CDC recommended those at risk receive an extra dose of the MMR vaccine, a dose that helped control a mumps outbreak at the University of Iowa in 2015.

What causes mumps?

Mumps is caused by a virus and is spread through saliva, mucus (from the mouth, nose or throat) via sneezing, talking, coughing, sharing items like cups or utensils or touching areas with unwashed hands.

Due to the close proximity of students and athletes and other people on a college campus, many of the recent outbreaks have occurred in college towns.

>> Related: Atlanta doctor: Kids who aren't vaccinated at risk for measles, more

“We are seeing it in other close-knit communities that tend to live closely together with strong social or cultural interactions,” including religious groups, Janell Routh, a pediatrician and medical officer on the CDC mumps team told the New York Times.

Common symptoms of mumps, according to the CDC:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (resulting in puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw)

These symptoms normally appear 16-18 days after infection.

If people are becoming immune to the MMR vaccine, should the two-dose program still be administered?

Yes, according to Routh. “We know that two doses of M.M.R. decreases your risk of serious complications,” she said. 

Such complications include inflammation of the resticles in post-pubertal males, inflammation of the ovaries and more dangerously, deafness and inflammation of the brain, she said.

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Additionally, the MMR vaccine also protects against the more serious measles disease and rubella.

The third dose recommendation is meant for those deemed high risk by public health workers.

If there is a mumps outbreak near me, what do I do?

Be sure your M.M.R. vaccine is up to date, inform your doctor right away and make good hygiene a priority by washing your hands often with soap and water.

What do I do if I get mumps?

According to the CDC: 

When you have mumps, you should avoid prolonged, close contact with other people until at least five days after your salivary glands begin to swell because you are contagious during this time. The time it takes for symptoms to appear after a person is exposed to the virus can range from 12 to 25 days. You should not go to work or school. You should stay home when you are sick with mumps and limit contact with the people you live with; for example, sleep in a separate room by yourself, if you can. Staying home while sick with mumps is an important way to avoid spreading the virus to other people. People who are infected with mumps don’t get sick right away -- it can take 2 to 4 weeks for them to show signs of infection.

Read more about mumps at CDC.com.

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4 children killed in violent police standoff laid to rest in Florida

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 8:31 PM

The children killed in an Orlando police standoff with their mother's boyfriend are from top left (clockwise) Lillia Pluth, Irayan Pluth, Dove Lindsey and Aidan Lindsey. The children were laid to rest Saturday in Orlando.
The children killed in an Orlando police standoff with their mother's boyfriend are from top left (clockwise) Lillia Pluth, Irayan Pluth, Dove Lindsey and Aidan Lindsey. The children were laid to rest Saturday in Orlando.

Funeral services for four Orlando children killed during a 21-hour police standoff  with their mother’s boyfriend were held Saturday. 

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The services, which were open to the public, took place at St. James Catholic Cathedral in Orlando, according to an attorney representing the family.

The funeral marked a difficult day for the family of Dove Lindsey, 1, Aiden Lindsey, 6, Lillia Pluth, 10, and Irayan Pluth, 12.

The day also proved too emotional for the children's mother, Ciara Lopez. 

"I remain stuck in that one night, that one night where everything changed, standing outside that apartment, waiting for different news," she said in a statement. 

Detectives believe Gary Lindsey, 35, shot the children either shortly before or after police officers came to the door of his apartment June 10 in response to a domestic battery call from Lopez. She had escaped the apartment.

Lindsey fired at the responding officers, seriously wounding Officer Kevin Valencia, who remains in a coma. Lindsey was then holed up in the apartment for almost a full day. Officers found him dead in a closet when they entered the apartment the following day.

>>Related: Wife of Orlando officer in coma: ‘My kids need a daddy. This community needs a real hero'

The children were found in their beds, police said. 

Some of the officers who worked during the standoff went to the service. 

"It's heartbreaking to see, obviously a small casket, with an infant inside," said Orlando Police Chief John Mina. 

Lindsey was Lopez’s boyfriend and the mother of all four children. Lindsey was the father of two of the children.

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Common herpes viruses may be linked to development of Alzheimer’s disease, study finds

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 7:16 PM

A new study by scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, discovered a link between the most common herpes viruses and Alzheimer’s disease.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Getty Images
A new study by scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, discovered a link between the most common herpes viruses and Alzheimer’s disease.(Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Two common herpes viruses may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and projected to affect 14 million people by 2050.

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That’s according to new research published Thursday in the journal Neuron, for which a team of scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, used genetic data from three different brain banks to examine differences between healthy brain tissue and brain tissue from individuals who died with Alzheimer’s.

The medical community still doesn’t know what causes the disease, so the Mount Sinai scientists set out to try and identify new targets for drugs. Instead, they stumbled upon repetitive hints that the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients had higher levels of viruses.

>> Related: How to prevent Alzheimer’s: Sleep, drink wine and exercise, researchers suggest

“The title of the talk that I usually give is, 'I Went Looking for Drug Targets and All I Found Were These Lousy Viruses,’” study co-author and geneticist Joel Dudley said in a statement.

While studying brain tissue of 622 people who had signs of the disease and 322 who weren’t affected by it, Dudley and his team found significant evidence suggesting two specific strains of the human herpes virus (HHV-6A and HHV-7), both of which commonly cause skin rashes called roseola in young children, may have seeped into the Alzheimer’s patients’ brains and remained inactive for decades.

>> Related: Have trouble sleeping? Research says that may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s

“I don't think we can answer whether herpes viruses are a primary cause of Alzheimer's disease. But what's clear is that they're perturbing networks and participating in networks that directly accelerate the brain towards the Alzheimer's topology,” Dudley said.

The team found that the herpes virus genes were interacting with specific genes known to increase risk for Alzheimer’s, but the mere presence of the virus isn’t enough to lead to the disease. Instead, Dudley said, something needs to be activating the viruses to cause replication.

>> Related: Why are Alzheimer's disease deaths up significantly in Georgia?

But their findings do align with some other current research, specifically regarding beta-amyloid proteins, proteins known to increase plaque buildup in Alzheimer’s-affected brains. In the new study, the researchers noted that herpes viruses were involved in networks that regulate these amyloid precursor proteins.

The National Institute on Aging, which helped fund the new research, is working to back another study to test the effects of antiviral drugs on people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s with high levels of herpes virus in their brains.

>> Related: This common vegetable may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, study says

While the study findings open a door for new treatment options, co-senior author Sam Gandy said in a statement, the results don’t exactly change what scientists know about the risk and susceptibility of Alzheimer’s or their ability to treat it. That’s because both HHV-6A and HHV-7 are incredibly common. In North America alone, almost 90 percent of children have one of the viruses in their blood by the time they’re a few years old, according to Gandy.

According to 2017 report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the death rate from Alzheimer’s disease has risen by 55 percent in recent decades.

>> Related: U.S. Alzheimer’s deaths up 55 percent, CDC says

Patients, caregivers and publicly funded long-term care facilities bear significant financial and societal costs due to the increasing rates of Alzheimer’s deaths.

Experts recommend more federal funding for caregiver support and education and for research to find a cure.

According to the CDC, it’s estimated the U.S. spent some $259 billion in 2017 on costs related to the care of those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

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Teens who laughed, recorded man drowning won’t face criminal charges 

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 6:41 PM

Four teenagers and one adult who recorded a man’s drowning and laughed as it happened will not be criminally charged, the State Attorney’s Office announced Friday. 

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Jamal Dunn, 31, of Cocoa, Florida, died in July 2017.

A passerby found Dunn’s body in a pond at Bracco Pond Park days after he died, investigators said.

In the two-and-a-half-minute video, the teenage boys can be heard yelling, “We’re not going to help you and you never should have gotten in there.”

>> Related: Teens record, taunt drowning man in Cocoa; no charges filed, police say

There is no Florida law that requires a person to provide emergency assistance.

Prosecutors had considered charging the group with failing to notify a medical examiner of a death, but said they could not appropriately apply it in Dunn’s case without new legislation. 

At the time the video was taken, the group ranged in age from 14 to 18.

>> Related: Florida authorities recommend charges against teens who taunted drowning man, police say

After the incident, a Florida state legislator crafted a good Samaritan bill that would have made it a crime not to assist someone in need, but lawmakers rejected it.

“I know that everyone was sickened by the callous disregard for human life exhibited by these young people. We can only hope that this was an isolated and rare circumstance that will never happen again,” State Attorney Phil Archer said. 

“Unfortunately, Florida law does not address this behavior and we are ethically restrained from pursuing criminal charges without a reasonable belief of proving a crime beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.”

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Toddler dies after 10 hours in hot car while mother allegedly hangs out with friends

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 6:12 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

A California woman is jailed on charges related to the death of her 18-month-old toddler inside a hot car, according to Mendocino County authorities.

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Deputies were called to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, California, Wednesday afternoon after the death of a young boy identified as Chergery Teywoh Lew Mays.

The child had been taken to the hospital by his mother, Alexandra Raven Scott, Detective Sgt. Andrew Porter with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release on Facebook.

Scott, a resident of Humboldt County, went to visit friends in Willits around 3 a.m. Wednesday, leaving the boy inside the car for hours.

“It is believed the child was left unattended in the back seat of the vehicle with the windows rolled up for about 10 hours,” Porter said.

A mug shot of Alexandra Scott, who is accused of leaving her toddler in a hot car for 10 hours while she socialized with friends. The child died from his injuries.(Mendocino County Sheriff's Office)

The temperature was about 80 degrees in Willits when the boy was found around 1 p.m., but officials told KTLA-TV it was more like 130 degrees inside the car. 

Scott is jailed without bail on suspicion of willfully causing or permitting a child to suffer great bodily injury or death.

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