There is a confirmed mumps case in Kid A’s room at daycare.
It is 2014. There is a confirmed mumps case in my 2-year-old’s daycare room, because some people don’t understand science or risk.
It’s entirely possible, even likely, that the kid with mumps is appropriately vaccinated. The first dose of MMR is given at 12-15 months, but you don’t get the second until age 4, and one dose is insufficient for protection in outbreak conditions. Even two doses are only 88% effective at protecting against mumps (though 99% effective against measles, which is more virulent and has higher rates of complications). Herd immunity is CRUCIAL to protecting the entire community.
I have the remains of a stress migraine because I got the email about this yesterday too late to call our doctor’s office, and then spent several hours freaking out about my NEWBORN possibly being exposed to mumps before reading up and determining that passive immunity (obtained in utero through the placenta) lasts up to at least 2.5 months—it’s unclear if the studies I read account for immunity transferred via breast milk.
Interesting fact I learned about vaccine schedules: The first shot of MMR is given at 12-15 months because prior research suggested that passive immunity lasts for an average of about a year, and immune response to the vaccine is more effective if you wait until passive immunity has mostly worn off.
However, it now looks like infants born to people who were vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella, rather than actually having the diseases, have a shorter period of passive immunity. This is sometimes grossly misinterpreted by anti-vaxxers as an argument against vaccination, but it wouldn’t be a problem EXCEPT that anti-vaxxers give these diseases footholds and allow them to spread far beyond where they would reach if the entire community were appropriately vaccinated. This puts basically all kids under age 4 at risk, especially infants, as well as people who are medically unable to vaccinate.
So we may, in the future, see the schedule for MMR pushed up, in order to provide better protection in a world where a small segment of the population undermines the herd immunity that SHOULD be protecting everyone.
Mumps complications include: sterility, encephalitis, hearing loss, and first trimester miscarriage. On the other hand, ~1/3 of cases are completely asymptomatic, which allows it to spread much more easily (it also has a REALLY long latency period—the time between exposure and becoming symptomatic—and is contagious before it’s symptomatic). Only 30-40% of cases display the “characteristic” swelling, which also contributes to its spread—many cases display only generic respiratory symptoms similar to a cold (source: CDC).
In Wisconsin, the law is incredibly lax in regard to vaccination status. People can provide a vague statement of “personal belief” objecting to vaccination and be exempt from vaccination requirements for public school and daycare enrollment. This policy has been shown to increase rates of vaccine-preventable disease.
tl;dr: I HATE ANTI-VAXXERS AND CANNOT FIGURE OUT WHY ANYONE THINKS THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO SPREAD POTENTIALLY DEADLY GERMS THROUGHOUT PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.