Thanks to vaccines, we’ve managed to all but eliminate many childhood illnesses.
The polio vaccine, for instance, brought worldwide cases of polio down from 350,000 in the 1970s to just 74 in 2015. Measles, mumps, and rubella were all considered illnesses children had to suffer through until the MMR vaccine was created.
Mumps in particular spreads among people in close quarters, and widespread vaccination created a herd immunity that brought the number of cases down by 99 percent, according to CNN. Unfortunately, Washington state is experiencing an outbreak right now that has left officials concerned.
Mumps begins with flu-like symptoms of fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Then salivary glands swell, creating a swollen jaw and puffy cheeks.
In the 1960s, cases of mumps were reported at rates around 186,000 per year.