Xymphora has the scoop, with many informing quotes pulled from various sources:
"Mumps is highly contagious, but not too dangerous, and might be the perfect biowarfare test agent. Did some UK biolab come up with a new strain which is being spread around the UK and, now, the American Midwest? Iowa seems to be ground zero (see also here):
"The state of Iowa has established the Iowa Laboratory Alert Network (ILRN), as part of a national bioterrorism preparedness and response network of public health and clinical laboratories for the purpose of disease surveillance and emergency response to possible acts of bioterrorism. If one of the participating state laboratories suspects it has discovered a biological agent, they are advised to contact the UI Hygienic Laboratory, which serves as a reference laboratory for the state."
The University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory was set up over one hundred years ago to study communicable diseases, and also now has expertise in bioterrorism. It is actively engaged in studying the mumps case."