Mumps Outbreak in Orthodox Jewish Communities in the United States

Source: New England Journal of Medicine | Vol:Vol. 367 | Page: 1704

By: Barksey, Albert E. ; Schulte, Cynthia ; Rosen, Jennifer B.


Intense exposure of mumps can overcome vaccine protection, as evidenced by the epidemiologic features of an outbreak that occurred among U.S. Orthodox Jewish communities during 2009 and 2010. Research suggests that disease transmission was aided by intense exposures, particularly among boys in schools, which overpowered protection from vaccination. From June 2009 through June 2010, there were 3,502 outbreak-related cases of mumps reported in New York City, two upstate New York counties, and one New Jersey county. Of these cases, 97 percent occurred in Orthodox Jews, and many of these involved adolescents aged 13 to 17 years of age and/or males. Transmission was focused within Jewish schools for boys, where students spend hours each day in face-to-face interaction. According to the researchers, the disease was less severe when there were high rates of two-dose vaccine coverage and when transmission occurred in settings of less intense exposure.

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