Hundreds Of Kids In Washington State Are Getting Sick From A Preventable Illness

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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.

Read More: They Didn’t Think Their Baby Would Survive Her First Weeks, But She’s A Fighter

In the 1960s, cases of mumps were reported at rates around 186,000 per year.

In the 1960s, cases of mumps were reported at rates around 186,000 per year.

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In fact, it was considered a childhood illness that many had to simply suffer through. It’s easily transferrable through kissing or hugging, so mumps spreads quickly.

In fact, it was considered a childhood illness that many had to simply suffer through. It's easily transferrable through kissing or hugging, so mumps spreads quickly.

Getty Images

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