Nebraska sees ‘significant’ increase in mumps cases as findings indicate some people who have been vaccinated may not be protected from the disease.
Officials have reported hundreds of mumps cases among detained migrants in 19 states.
Mumps has swept through 57 immigration detention facilities in 19 states since September, according to the first U.S. government report on the outbreaks in the overloaded immigration system.
The virus sickened 898 adult migrants and 33 detention center staffers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its report Thursday.
New cases continue as migrants are taken into custody or transferred between facilities, the report said. As of last week, outbreaks were happening in 15 facilities in seven states.
In response to the report, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox said medical professionals at detention facilities screen all new detainees within 24 hours of their arrival to ensure that highly contagious diseases are not spread.
This is a troubling development for Americans everywhere. Mumps is a highly infectious disease. Now Nebraska health officials are reporting a “significant” increase in mumps cases following two outbreaks in the state.
In a statement Thursday, officials with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced the agency has identified some 30 cases of mumps, a viral infection that most commonly affects a person’s salivary glands.
Most of the cases were reported among those who attended a wedding in northeastern Nebraska, officials said, as well as “a workplace in Four Corners Health Department’s jurisdiction,” which comprises Butler, Polk, York, and Seward counties.
Of additional concern among public health professionals is the discovery that the once highly effective vaccine is not working as well as it once did. Those who have been vaccinated may not be protected from a mumps infection.
“What we’re seeing now with these mumps outbreaks is a combination of two things — a few people were not making a strong immune response to begin with, and the circulating strain has drifted away from the strain that is in the vaccine,” she explained in a university news release.
The study, by researchers at Emory and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, included 71 people, aged 18 to 23, in the Atlanta area. Nearly all (69) had received two MMR doses, but 80 percent received their second dose more than a decade before the study began.
While 93 percent had antibodies against mumps, 10 percent had no detectable anti-mumps memory B cells. These cells produce antibodies after exposure to the mumps virus.
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