State Health Department Investigating A Mumps Outbreak In Texas

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District said that there are nine cases of mumps in Bexar County, up by eight from previous year.

So far this year, there have been 221 mumps cases, the largest total since there were 234 cases in 1994, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. There have been multiple outbreaks involving vacation break travelers at South Padre Island.

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.

There have been 13 cases of people who traveled to South Padre Island between March 8 and March 22.

In 2016, there were 5,311 reported mumps cases in the United States, reaching a decade-high since 2006.

Mumps is transferred by respiratory droplets or saliva.

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"Right now, with it being two suspected cases, that look clinically promising but not confirmed, and one lab confirmed, right now it is just considered that there are three sporadic cases that have happened within a population of 250,000 people", said Anderson.

"When you think about mumps, most people will do OK, but there are potentially more serious complications", noted Dr. Cynthia Brownfield, a physician with Mosaic Life Care.

According to the CDC, MMR-II in two doses is 88 percent effective at protection against mumps. Hardesty said, "Take precautions, get your immunizations, and make sure they're up to date".

Mumps is a viral infection that causes painful swelling in the glands of the cheek and jaw. Symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, low fever, tiredness and muscle aches. The health department says it's encouraging people to protect themselves by getting vaccinated, covering sneezes and coughs and washing hands. Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are recommended for children; the first dose at 12-15 months of age, and the second dose at 4-6 years of age. DSHS maintains the best mumps prevention is through vaccination, although some inoculated people still get mumps if exposed to the virus.

"I just do them all". "And if you're in one of those special groups that exposed, make sure you take that special extra step to prevent catching the disease and spreading the disease". "When the doctor says she's due for this, I give them to her", said parent Bethany Awalt, mother.

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