Last month, the Health Ministry issued a statement saying that a slight uptick in the number of cases of measles in Israel did not mean a major outbreak had begun – but it turned out that the focus was on the wrong childhood disease. According to figures released by the Ministry Monday, the real concern is with mumps, cases of which have jumped 6.5 times this year compared to last.
So far this year, 121 cases of mumps have been reported, compared to 18 in the first half of 2016. At greatest risk, officials said, were youths who lived in dormitory settings, where they were exposed on a constant basis to germs from their fellows. Other than through childhood inoculation, there is no effective treatment for the disease.
It should be noted that almost all the cases this year were Israelis who received mumps vaccination when they were young. As a result, the Ministry is investigating if there had been a problem at some point with a lower quality inoculation, which has failed to protect those who received it from the disease. Also being examined is whether the current “mumps bug” is a strain that may have developed resistance to the standard inoculation.