State issues mumps outbreak alert; locals already responding

State issues mumps outbreak alert; locals already responding

Texas is now experiencing a 20-year high in mump cases, and state, regional and local health departments are investigating multiple outbreaks sites throughout the state. DSHS alerted other states and in turn, was notified of 13 instances of mumps in people who traveled to South Padre Island between March 8 and March 22 from six states, including two individuals from Texas.

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

Roberts said the best preventative measure is to get vaccinated, and one mother is taking that advice seriously.

The DSHS said mumps symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low fever, tiredness and muscle aches. Past year the US had multiple outbreaks of the mumps resulting in 5,748 total reported cases.

While mumps is no longer considered common in the United States, outbreaks around the nation happened in 2006, 2015, and 2016, and most of these cases occurred on college campuses. An infected person can spread the virus to someone else by coughing, sneezing, sharing items such as eating utensils and by touching objects with unwashed hands that are later touched by others.

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After she heard about the mumps outbreak, she said she's fortunate her daughter Jeralee has the MMR vaccine (measles mumps rubella).

"We've had quite a large one with, counting last year and this year, more than 150 cases in Johnson County, which is just south of Fort Worth", he said.

Concerns about mumps have heightened since a state-wide health advisory was released yesterday by the Texas Department of State Health Services. People who have been vaccinated are unlikely to get meningitis or inflammation of the ovaries or testes, or partial deafness. "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". People who think they have mumps should contact their health care provider.

Symptoms of mumps usually appear from 16 to 18 days after exposure. However, seeing as a vaccinated person can still catch the virus, it's important for everyone to help stop the spread of mumps.

Under the current guidelines, children must take two doses of the MMR-II at the age of 12 to 15 months and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. "Still, I'm capable of passing it on to someone else", Schaffner said.

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