SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

Denmark experiences largest number of mumps cases since 1994

Denmark's Statens Serum Institute recorded 47 laboratory-confirmed mumps cases this year, the largest number recorded in Denmark since 1994, the SSI said on Wednesday.

The first mumps cases were detected in February and 11 of the cases were reported in May. While only a few cases of mumps were detected over the summer, there were four cases confirmed in September and seven cases in October. The cases are spread throughout Denmark, but most are concentrated in Denmark's Capital Region with 24 of the 47 cases.

The 47 mumps cases reported this year are much higher than the average of 13 cases annually between 2002 and 2012.

Mumps was exclusively considered a childhood disease until the introduction of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Since that time, the age of individuals affected by the disease increased. Thirty-four of the 47 cases occurred in individuals over the age of 20.

The SSI said the best prevention against the mumps is the MMR vaccination. The vaccine generates protective antibodies in approximately 85 percent of individuals who receive the vaccine. The institute said high vaccination coverage will likely lead to strong population immunity against the disease.

The SSI encouraged physicians to pay attention to mumps symptoms in children and young adults.