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The incidence of mumps in the United States during the first 37 weeks of this year is down 13.5 percent from the same period a year ago, with two states and the District of Columbia reporting no cases of the infectious disease at all, the Centers for Disease Control reports.

According to the public-health agency, 2,112 cases of mumps were reported by the week ending Sept. 15. During the same period in 1983, 2,443 cases were reported.

The decrease in the cases of mumps in recent years can be attributed in part to the effectiveness of immunization laws that require students to obtain mumps and other vaccinations before they enter public schools, according to a cdc report.

"Based on 1982 data, the reported mumps-incidence rate for states3that required proof of mumps immunity for school entry was one-half that for the 19 states without such a law," according to the public-health agency.

"Further declines in the reported mumps-incidence rate can be expected as more children entering school are required to provide proof of mumps immunity for school attendance," the cdc concludes.

The Education Department has recognized 10 schools for their exemplary programs in vocational education.

According to a spokesman for the department, the schools were selected last month from high schools and junior colleges nominated by state education departments and judged by 10 regional evaluation teams. The final selection of one award-winning school for each of the regions was made by the Education Department and approved by Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell.

Selection criteria for the "Secre-tary's Awards for Outstanding Vocational Education Programs" include hands-on experience in shops or at work sites; cooperation with business, industry, and labor; and the job-placement rate of graduates.

The projects cited by the recogni-tion program, now in its fourth year, include a forestry program in which high-school students operate a forestry business and use computers to solve fire problems and measure timber; a program that teaches high-school juniors and seniors food-service and restaurant management; and a 750-student magnet school that offers job training in 23 health areas and a complete academic curriculum.

The award-winning schools are: Enfield (Conn.) Public Schools; boces Southern Westchester in Valhalla, N.Y.; Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke, Pa.; Okaloosa-Walton Junior College in Niceville, Fla.; Elgin Community College in Elgin, Ill.; Houston Independent School District; Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa; Warren Occupational Technical Center in Golden, Colo.; Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu; and School District 13 in North Bend, Ore.

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