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Hidalgo County health officials announced Friday they are investigating several posiible and confirmed mumps cases.

mumpsIn a press conference Friday, Director Eddie Olivarez  said they have confirmed one mumps case and are investigating up to nine potential cases. Confirmation of the potential cases should be available soon.

Olivarez stressed that there is no established link between the mumps outbreak and the release of immigrants from overpopulated immigration facilities in the county.

“I want to make this real clear,” he said. “This mumps situation has no link — zero, nothing, zip — as of this second today … to the immigration situation. None.”

Mumps is a highly infectious disease passed through saliva and respiratory secretions. While the incubation period is 12 to 25 days, symptoms often appear 16 to 18 days after exposure.

The symptoms for the mumps are similar to influenza (the flu) and often include tender swollen glands below the ear and along the jawline on one or both sides of the face and neck, headache, fever and cold-like symptoms. People with mumps are considered infectious from two days before swelling begins through five days after the start of swelling.

Mumps can be prevented with MMR vaccine. This protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.

MMR vaccine is safe and effective. A person with two doses of MMR vaccine has about an 88% reduction in risk for mumps; a person with one dose has a 78% reduction in risk for mumps.