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Mumps epidemic in North America proves unusually stubborn

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 15 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5305
  1. Owen Dyer

A surge in cases of mumps in North America that began at the end of 2015 shows no sign of slowing, show figures released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) covering the first nine months of 2017.1

The CDC reports that the year to 7 October saw 4667 cases of mumps in 47 states—on course to narrowly surpass the 5833 US cases in 2016, which were a nearly fivefold rise from 2015. This two year surge is unusual, as previous spikes in mumps cases have typically lasted for months, not years.

“Mumps outbreaks are on the rise,” Janell Routh, CDC paediatrician, told the New York Times. “We are seeing it in a young …

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