Mumps cases reach 20-year high in Texas

Jeannette Daniel
April 15, 2017

"Because of the high numbers of mumps cases across the country, it is especially important to make sure your children are vaccinated", said Yvonne Long, Garfield County public health director.

The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Wednesday it is investigating multiple outbreaks of mumps throughout the state of Texas.

The DSHS issued the advisory to health care providers and recommended they should consider mumps in patients with similar symptoms and ask them whether they traveled outside the state to South Padre Island from March 8 to March 22. Several states, including Texas, has reported positive mumps cases in individuals who traveled to South Padre Island over the middle of March.

Dallas County Health reports 81 confirmed mumps cases so far in Dallas County this year.

Mumps in Texas is skyrocketing and is at a 20-year high with the contagious virus infecting even spring travelers. Mumps is spread through saliva or mucus from the nose, mouth or throat. In contrast, just 229 cases were reported in 2015. "A single dose gives only 75 percent protection while two doses 88 percent protection, so it is possible that there is still adequate vaccination rates for mumps it's just that the vaccine is not as effective as we would like", said Hotez. "And if you're in one of those special groups that's exposed, make sure you take that special extra step to prevent catching the disease and spreading the disease".

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Mumps is highly contagious and is spread through coughing and sneezing and sharing cups an utensils.

Mumps is a viral infection that causes painful swelling in the glands of the cheek and jaw.

Mumps typically begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite lasting a few days, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For example, in Texas, 97.6% of kindergarten-age children have received two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, Van Deusen said, while 98.7% of seventh-graders have. A spokesman for the CDC said that they were investigating the possibility that the protective effect of the MMR vaccine decreases over time.

The students and the parents are going to get crucial information through The CHISD Health Forum from the experts.

Schaffner said college students are at particularly at risk since they live and go to school in close proximity to others.

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