Mumps  Vaccine failure

Mumps outbreak sweeps Long Beach; affected residents had already been vaccinated

18 people known to have contracted the disease; health officials say more cases possible

When most people hear about the mumps, they usually think of it as a disease that nobody catches anymore.

But according to Nassau County health officials, 18 people in the Long Beach area have come down with the once common infection, best known for causing swelling along the jawline.

County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein tells us that of the 18 confirmed cases, most patients are between the ages of 19 and 30. A few, however, are in their 50s.

The patients came down with symptoms over the last few days – despite having already been vaccinated.

“Sometimes nature throws a strain at us that might have mutated a little bit, and coverage of the vaccine is not 100 percent,” Eisenstein explained.

Aside from its trademark swelling, the mumps also causes a headache, fever and pains.

There's no treatment. The mumps usually clears up on its own.

If you think you're sick with the mumps, officials say you should call your doctor right away and call your boss to say you're not going to work.

“Since there is no cure, the most important thing is, if you're sick and you have mumps, please stay home for five days,” Eisenstein says.

People with the mumps should cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, and avoid sharing drinks or kissing.

The health department says they could see a few more cases pop up before the outbreak starts to die down.