88 people have come down with mumps in Illinois—more than triple the number last year. Most of the reported cases are due to two separate outbreaks: one in Morgan and Sangamon counties, the other on the University of Illinois campus, resulting in the highest total since 91 cases of mumps were reported in Illinois in 2008.
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While the mumps virus is rarely fatal, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck warns that there can be more serious complications. “There can be pain and swelling and inflammation of the testicles for men,” Hasbrouck said. “There can be deafness or there can be arthritis over time, and there can be some other kind of nervous system disorders that are fairly rare as well, and then sometimes, there can actually be inflammation of the brain.”
In most cases, those who are infected will need to stay home for five to seven days once symptoms are present before returning to school or work. Hasbrouck says adults make up the majority of the cases around the state, and many of those infected adults couldn’t recall if they had been properly vaccinated for mumps.