More than a dozen mumps cases at University of Missouri

COLUMBIA, MO (KPLR) - Most of us regard mumps as a childhood disease; a rare one at that.

In the United States, children are usually vaccinated against mumps before they go to kindergarten. But a small percentage of individuals are still susceptible to the viral disease.

The University of Missouri in Columbia reported 17 cases of the illness among students on campus since September. The University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana has seen 317 cases between April 2015 and May 2016.

Nationally there are more than 2,300 reported cases of mumps, twice the number for all of 2015. Doctors and researchers are not sure why that happens, but they do know the vaccine has been very successful. It generally protects people 88 percent of the time.

Symptoms include swelling in glands along the jaw line, headache, ear ache, fatigue and fever. Anyone with those symptoms is urged to stay away from other people and cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze. The illness is considered very contagious but not particularly dangerous.