Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Health Care | By Jan Bell

Texas hasn't seen this many mumps cases in 20 years

Texas hasn't seen this many mumps cases in 20 years

"Since the pre-vaccine era, there has been a more than 99% decrease in mumps cases in the United States", the CDC said.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said Wednesday that Texas has had 221 cases of mumps so far this year, the largest total since there were 234 cases in 1994.

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.

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.

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Mumps in Texas is skyrocketing and is at a 20-year high with the contagious virus infecting even spring travelers.

Mumps is transmitted from person to person by respiratory droplets or saliva.

"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. The CDC says that although mumps is not a deadly disease, it can lead to serious complications, especially among adults. "Both adults and children should make sure they are up-to-date on their mumps vaccinations".

According to the DSHS, mumps is highly contagious and spread through coughing and sneezing, as well as sharing cups and utensils. Symptoms like swollen salivary glands, swollen testicles, tiredness, and muscle aches manifest after 16 days of exposure to the virus.

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"The reason it is on the health department's radar is because this is a vaccine preventable disease". And their recommendations include receiving at least two doses of the MMR vaccine.

"People can actually spread the mumps virus for several days before they become sick", he said.

"What's concerning about it is, if they were vaccinated, what is causing this to occur and it's our job to help us answer that question", Family Nurse Practitioner for Brazos County Health Department Julie Anderson said.

"The vaccine is excellent for the short term, but after 10 to 15 years, it begins to wane in some people", said William Schaffner, M.D., and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, according to Tech Times.

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