Texas Sees Bump in Mumps

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Texas has had 221 mumps cases this year.

Health officials in Texas are looking into outbreaks, including possible exposure on South Padre Island, which is a popular spring break destination for college students. Several states, including Texas, have reported positive mumps cases in individuals who traveled to South Padre Island in March. The Texas Department of State Health Services is investigating multiple new outbreaks throughout the state.

"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.

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.

The Brazos County Health Department has received reports of 1 confirmed case and 2 suspected cases of mumps.

Mumps is a viral infection that causes painful swelling in the glands of the cheek and jaw. At the end of 2016, the CDC reported that the number of mumps cases hit a 10-year high with 5,311 cases reported in 46 states. Serious complications from mumps are rare but include meningitis and other problems.

According to the DSHS, mumps is highly contagious and spread through coughing and sneezing, as well as sharing cups and utensils.

There is a vaccine and it protects 88 percent of the people who are fully vaccinated.

"Obviously, one of the things you do is avoid people with mumps", said Infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner, but he noted that this practice is limited in its ability to ward off the mumps for two reasons.

"We have largely seen outbreaks in North Texas, so the Dallas-Fort Worth area and some of the surrounding counties", Van Deusen said, adding that Dallas County has experienced two or three significant outbreaks. And their recommendations include receiving at least two doses of the MMR vaccine. However, teens and adults should also check if they are up to date with their MMR vaccination. And if in an exposed population, the application of a third booster shot just as Cedar Hill has offered his - a third booster shot - just as they've offered at Cedar Hill. "When the doctor says she's due for this, I give them to her", said parent Bethany Awalt, mother.

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