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Mumps outbreak may be spreading to L.A.

May 15, 2010 |  7:41 pm

A mumps outbreak on the East Coast — the largest in the United States in four years — may be spreading to Los Angeles County.

Nine cases of mumps have been reported so far this year, two more than were seen in all of 2009, according to county health officer Jonathan Fielding.

There is also a rise in whooping cough cases, which killed two infants in L.A. County this year, and an increase in measles cases to four so far in 2010, up from one last year.

"I'm always concerned when we see an increase in what has become a rare disease," said Fielding, who added that the infant deaths were particularly disturbing.

Four of the mumps cases may be related to an outbreak, largely among Orthodox Jews, that has persisted in New York and New Jersey for almost a year. According to the New York State Department of Health, there have been more than 2,800 confirmed and probable mumps cases in New York and 315 in New Jersey.

The outbreak has also spread to Quebec, where 20 mumps cases have been linked to the New York outbreak, and to Israel, where more than 2,600 have been infected.

Dr. David Keene, a pediatrician in Beverly Hills, saw two mumps cases recently, involving a student who attends the private high school Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles and a 2-year-old whose uncle attends the school.

Read the full story here.

--Rong-Gong Lin II