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Mumps cases on the rise this year in Wisconsin

Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio

So far this year in Wisconsin, there have been two cases of measles and 20 cases of mumps, with the latter disease continuing to spread throughout the state.

State health officials are reminding parents that these diseases, both of which can be especially serious for infants and young children, are preventable through vaccination.

Measles can spread quickly, and because of global travel it can spread far according to Dan Hopfensperger, who directs the Wisconsin immunization program at the Department of Health Services.

“Vaccine-preventable diseases, especially measles, can be just a plane ride away, so we cannot let our guard down,” said Hopfensperger.

In the two cases of measles reported this year, both were imported. Hopfensperger says a child traveling to the Philippines caught the disease, as did a young adult who traveled to California.

“We do regular alerts, said Hopfensperger. “When we have measles, mumps, or rubella in individuals, we put out information to providers that they should be on the lookout for symptoms of measles or of mumps. And if you see that in patients, it should raise your index of suspicion and test accordingly.”

State health officials say 85 percent of kids are vaccinated against mumps, measles and rubella by age 2. 

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