Mumps cases in Texas reach 20-year-high - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Mumps cases in Texas reach 20-year-high

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
BRAZOS COUNTY, TX (KXXV) -

Texas is experiencing a 20-year-high in mumps cases with 221 of them this year alone, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In Central Texas, Brazos County has one confirmed case of mumps.

There are two suspected cases of mumps but the health department is waiting for lab results to confirm them.  

All three cases have been college-aged, young adults.

“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," Anderson said.

The health department said those affected did not travel to South Padre Island but it is looking into whether they came in contact with someone who did.

Several mumps cases in Texas and the U.S. have been linked to travel to the popular spring break destination.

"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.

In McLennan and Bell Counties, there have not been any cases reported. However, Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Spokeswoman Kelly Craine said the department is monitoring the situation.

"We've seen a large increase not only in Texas but around the country. This is something that is in our radar, that we are aware of,” Craine said. “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."

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

Baylor Scott & White Physician Dr. Mazhar Khan who works at the Scott & White Clinic in Bellmead said the symptoms are similar to the flu but there is a visible difference.

"The key with mumps here is you are going to experience one or both sides swelling to what's known as the parotid gland and that is usually the telltale sign of mumps versus the regular flu,” Khan said.

He said those who are college students and elementary age children are more likely to get the virus.

"Anyone who is closed quarters, those living in dormitories, school-aged children, in class constantly exposed to somebody who may have the infection is at increased risk." Khan said.

People usually develop symptoms 16-18 days after being exposed to the virus, but it can be as long as 25 days. People who think they have mumps should contact their health care provider, and anyone suspected of having mumps should stay home while they’re contagious - five days after swollen glands occur.

Mumps is highly contagious and is spread through coughing and sneezing and sharing cups and utensils. The mumps vaccine is the best way to keep from getting mumps, and research shows the mumps vaccine protects 88 percent of people who are fully vaccinated. However, some vaccinated people still get sick if they’re exposed to the virus, so it’s also important for people to help stop the spread of mumps by covering coughs and sneezes, washing their hands frequently with soap and water, and not sharing food and drinks.

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