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Arts & Life

This Week in SD History: 2006 Mumps Outbreak

The mumps virus is on the loose. Cases are popping up in Arkansas, Iowa and Illinois.

On this day in 2006, the Center for Disease Control reports that South Dakota is one of 11 states showing an outbreak of the mumps. The outbreak of mumps that began in Iowa in December 2005, eventually included 10 additional states.

The clinical case definition of mumps: an illness with acute onset of unilateral or bilateral tender, self-limited swelling of the parotid or other salivary gland, lasting tow or more days, and without other apparent cause.

Two weeks prior to the CDC report, South Dakota Health officials said they were investigating a case of mumps in a college student at Dakota State University. It was the first case reported in South Dakota since 1991. The university conducted immunization clinics and State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger encouraged people to check their vaccination records and call their health care providers if they needed to be vaccinated.

The State Health Department recommended mumps cases be excluded from work or school for nine days after becoming ill to prevent further spread of the disease.

Immunity from the outbreak included a physician diagnosis or lab confirmation of previous mumps infection, birth before 1957, or one dose of Measles – Mumps – Rubella or MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine had been mandatory for school entry in South Dakota since 1978. In all during the 2006 outbreak, 2,597 cases of mumps were reported in South Dakota.

Production assistance for this week in South Dakota history comes from Brad Tennant, Ph.D., professor of history at Presentation College.