Vaccinating against Mumps
The epidemiological curves comparing pre- and post-vaccination periods show a sharp decrease in the number of cases over the years. It is clear that vaccinations have significantly changed the incidence of diseases for which immunisation exists, thus saving lives, reducing disease outcomes, reducing overall population suffering and improving quality of life.
The disease before and after the vaccination campaign in Italy
Before the start of extensive vaccination programs, mumps was typically a childhood disease, with the highest frequency among children aged 5 to 9 and a generally benign course. Furthermore, one third of infected children show no symptoms. However, the infection can affect people of any age: children can therefore spread the infection to the elderly, among whom complications, even serious ones, are more frequently observed.
Observing the epidemiological data on the cases of mumps in Italy from 1996 to 2006 (figure 1) we note that the trend shows a series of oscillations, with a maximum number of almost 65,000 cases reported in 1996. From 1999, when the national campaign for the eradication of Measles, Mumps and Rubella began with the trivalent MMR vaccine, the trend has seen a continuous decline in the number of cases of mumps recorded, up to the minimum represented by the 721 cases identified in 2010.