dglobalnews.com What's Driving Mumps Cases In Texas To Reach 20-Year High?
Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Medical | By Benjamin Edwards

What's Driving Mumps Cases In Texas To Reach 20-Year High?

What's Driving Mumps Cases In Texas To Reach 20-Year High?

Dr. Martha Dannenbaum with Texas A&M's A.P. Beutel Health Center says the center has seen cases with mumps related symptoms, and that these students are urged to isolate themselves for five days.

The Texas Department of State Health Services says the number of mumps cases has reached a 20-year high, which has health officials anxious. At this time, the local cases do not seem to be connected to the cases reported in those patients that traveled to South Padre Island.

The most recent outbreak was on South Padre Island, a popular Spring Break destination.

The Texas DSHS said 13 people who travelled to South Padre island between March 8 and 22 were infected with mumps.

Garfield County Public Health is investigating four reported mumps cases among residents.

The number of mumps cases recorded in Texas reaches 20-year high in 2017. Mumps is spread through saliva or mucus from the nose, mouth or throat. Before the vaccine arrived, approximately 186,000 cases used to be reported a year. Serious complications from mumps are rare but include meningitis and other problems. "That means that if you have 100 people who are fully vaccinated, 88 of them will be fully protected", it adds. "We want to make sure everyone is vaccinated and up to date so they're thoroughly protected and just be aware this is a possibility".

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Mumps is highly contagious.

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 virus is rarely deadly but it can cause discomfort as salivary glands swell up. The vaccine is perfectly safe and should be administered at least twice during a children's early years (first dose at 12 months of age and second dose at between 4-6 years old). Anyone already vaccinated can help prevent the spread of mumps by washing hands with soap and water, not sharing cups and utensils, and by covering coughs and sneezes.

"Mumps has a long incubation period, as long as 26 days between exposure and symptoms, so people could have been exposed, you know, a little over a month ago, and now you have new cases with that association", he said.

The CDC recommends that children get two doses of the MMR vaccine. They also are asking Texans to get vaccinated. "When the doctor says she's due for this, I give them to her", said parent Bethany Awalt, mother.

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