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Mumps outbreak in neighboring states has Tennessee Dept. of Health concerned

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--With a mumps outbreak in neighboring Arkansas, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) says they are "concerned" about the increase and want to make sure Tennesseans are immunized before "it's too late."

TDH states the outbreak in Arkansas has now hit 2,400 suspected or confirmed cases of the contagious disease. TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH says “We are talking about this now because we are obviously worried about the significant rise in mumps cases in neighboring states and want everyone to be sure they are up to date on immunizations before it's too late.”

While typically mild in children, mumps can cause fever, headache, swollen salivary glands, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Complications can also include inflammation of the brain and inflammation of tissue covering the spinal cord (meningitis).

Given the outbreak, TDH is recommending children over one year of age and adults over 60 to make sure they have received a mumps vaccine. Children in school and college students are required to have two doses of the MMR vaccine.

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According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Texas have all reported more than 100 cases since December 31, 2016. It is the largest outbreak since 2006.

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