McDonald County Health Department battles mumps outbreak

Kelsi Russell brought her daughter to the McDonald County Health Department to get a mumps shot on Friday.

“Well, there was an outbreak not too long ago and I don’t want her or anybody we know or care about to get them,” said Kelsi.

That outbreak is ongoing as far as the McDonald County Health Department is concerned. They’ve seen an increase in mumps cases in the last few months and confirmed a total of 70.

Right now, they’re on a mission to stomp out the disease.

“We’ve done several vaccination clinics to try and get ahead of the spread. We’ve given over 960 vaccinations with the help of some great local providers. We’ve got a great support team here in the community that’s doing everything we can to fight the illness,” said McDonald County Health Department Director Paige Behm.

The McDonald County Health Department is also offering free vaccinations to those without insurance, and encouraging anyone who has come in contact with a confirmed case of mumps to stop by for a shot.

They say a healthy community protects those who can’t handle the vaccination.

“Children under the age of one, they’ve never been vaccinated. They cannot be vaccinated until they are one, so we need to protect everyone around those children, and also pregnant women,” said Behm.