Mumps has begun to make a comeback in Florida and around the globe, and Alachua County in Florida is among the places it’s gotten a foothold.
An increased number of reports of the contagious virus — which brings fever, muscle aches and headaches and its trademark puffy jowls look, among other symptoms — has local health officials worried.
Florida Department of Health records show that 215 cases have been reported since 2010 with 165 since 2017. Paul Myers, administrator for the Alachua County Health Department, said the increase reflects a nationwide wave.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in April that 41 states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. reported mumps infections in 736 people since the start of 2019, mostly from California, Texas and Pennsylvania. The Irish Times reported that over 1,000 cases of mumps have been seen in Ireland, twice as many as were recorded in 2018.
Florida has reported 33 cases during that period and is on pace to surpass its previous highest number this decade in 2017 ― 74, according to state health records.