Authorities report several mumps cases at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Houston, Texas. There is no imminent threat of the illness outside the facility.
Mumps In Texas
In a statement, the Houston Health Department (HHD) confirmed seven cases of mumps among detained individuals at the ICE in Houston, Texas. All the individuals were adult detainees at the facility who happened to be there at the time when they were infectious.
According to authorities, because the said individuals were detained during their infectious period, there is so far no threat of the individuals passing the illness to others outside the facility. That said, the HHD is still working with the facility in regard to infection control methods and is expected to conduct an on-site visit in the coming days.
Mumps outbreaks continue to occur even if vaccinations have drastically reduced mumps cases. These particularly occur in places where people can get prolonged exposure to people with mumps, such as taking the same classes, playing in a sports team together, or living together in a dormitory.
In the state of Texas and in Houston region, mumps outbreaks are rare, but they have occurred in the past.
Mumps is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable illness that is caused by a virus. The symptoms of mumps typically begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, tiredness, and then followed by swollen salivary glands. Anyone who may be experiencing these symptoms must immediately contact a health care provider.
Most people can recover from mumps without any serious complications, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers anyone who have had two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine to be protected from mumps for life. These dose are typically given to children at 12 to 15 months and again at 4 to 6 years old.
“Properly vaccinating your children isn’t just about protecting your child, it’s about protecting your entire family and your community,” said Houston’s local health authority, Dr. David Persse.