In North Texas, the national mumps outbreak has found it’s way to Johnson County. According to health officials, there are currently 28 mumps cases in Johnson County. Twenty-three (23) of those cases are in children ages 5-18 (Alvarado – 1 adult case, Cleburne – 8 cases and Keene – 19 cases).

Image/Johnson County Emergency Management
Image/Johnson County Emergency Management

Yesterday, the Keene ISD, along with the Department of State Health Services hosted a free MMR vaccine clinic. Today, the Cleburne ISD is also hosting a free MMR vaccine clinic: Dec. 7, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the high school library.

Mumps is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is spread through indirect or direct contact with an infected person’s nose or throat droplets, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes because of inflammation of the salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides. Other common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease.

Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. However, mumps can occasionally cause severe complications, especially in adults. Treatment includes rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medicine to reduce fever and discomfort. Since mumps is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not used as a treatment.

People with mumps can spread the infection for up to two days before, and five days after, symptoms develop, so those infected can spread the disease before they feel sick. Symptoms typically appear 16 to 18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12 to 25 days after infection.

LISTEN: Arkansas, mumps and the MMR vaccine: A discussion with Dr Dirk Haselow

Through Nov 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported provisionally 3832 mumps cases nationwide. This is the most mumps cases in a single year since 2006.