Mumps cases reported in Garfield County

Adjust Comment Print

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

Advising people to take extra precautions and respond quickly when cases are diagnosed, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued a warning about multiple outbreaks of mumps in the state this week.

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

Midwestern states have experienced the highest numbers of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Mumps symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low fever, tiredness and muscle aches.

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

Meanwhile, the escalation in mumps cases has led to health officials and doctors demanding a third vaccination dose to bolster current immunization patterns.

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

According to data from the CDC, 2305 mumps cases have been reported so far in the US this year through April 8.

Image credit: Sostre SN News."We will see outbreaks from of mumps if someone perhaps travels and brings mumps back with them from a foreign country or in an unvaccinated population", said Dr. Scott Avery, from Northwest Health Services, according to News Press Now.

"CDC is investigating the factors that may be contributing to the increase in cases, including that the vaccine prevents many but not all cases of mumps; the disease spreads more easily in crowded settings; and the possibility that the protective effect of the vaccine decreases over time", the CDC said. In contrast, just 229 cases were reported in 2015. People who have been vaccinated are unlikely to get meningitis or inflammation of the ovaries or testes, or partial deafness. Adults born before 1957 are generally considered to be immune to mumps and do not need to be vaccinated, but other adults should make sure they have been vaccinated. Research shows the vaccine protects 88 percent of people who are fully vaccinated.

Mumps is highly contagious and is spread through coughing, sneezing, and sharing cups and utensils. The incubation period is 16-18 days (range of 12 - 25 days) from exposure to onset of parotitis. 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. And, their suggestions include having a minimum of two doses of the MMR vaccine. The mumps vaccine works best to keep people from getting mumps.

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