Following the report of a confirmed mumps case in a Cedar Hill adult resident on Jan. 19, Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) officials confirmed the second case of mumps in Dallas County for 2017.
DCHHS Health officials are urging immunization to protect against and prevent the spread of mumps. People who have had two mumps vaccinations (such as two MMR vaccines) are usually considered immune from mumps.
“At two doses, the MMR vaccine has 88% effectiveness,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, Dallas County medical director/health authority. “Getting vaccinated is the best option for protection in addition to washing hands frequently and cleaning/disinfecting objects or surfaces that may be contaminated with germs.”
DCHHS provides the MMR vaccine for children and adults at the main clinic located at 2377 N. Stemmons Frwy in Dallas, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Texas state health officials (DSHS) are investigating two mumps outbreaks in the state. The first one is in North Texas and is linked to cheerleading competitions that took place in Nov. and Dec. 2016. 12 confirmed cases have been associated with this outbreak.
In addition, DSHS is also investigating a mumps outbreak in Johnson County. Health officials have identified 136 cases in the outbreak, including 134 Johnson County residents and one each in Hood and Tarrant counties. Most of the people involved are students, and DSHS has been working with school districts in the area to limit the spread of the disease.
“The increased number of mumps cases reported in the North Texas area underscore the importance of getting vaccinated,” said DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson.
Mumps symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low fever, tiredness and muscle aches. People usually develop symptoms 14-18 days after being exposed to the virus that causes mumps, but it can be as long as 25 days. Anyone suspected of having mumps should stay home while they’re contagious – five days after swollen glands occur.
Mumps is spread through coughing and sneezing and sharing cups and utensils. While vaccination is the best protection against mumps, even people who are vaccinated can become infected. People should also prevent spreading mumps and other illnesses by covering coughs and sneezes, washing their hands frequently with soap and water, and not sharing food and drinks.
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