27 Mumps Cases Confirmed at ICE Facilities in Texas
International visitors may bring the mumps virus into the USA
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said as of February 14, 2019, there are 27 confirmed cases of mumps in its facilities across Texas.
The largest cluster of mumps cases is located at the South Texas ICE Processing Center, where 10 people are infected. This facility is located in Pearsall, Texas, which is southwest of San Antonio.
ICE also confirmed 2 cases at the Rio Grande Detention Center, 1 case at the Laredo Processing Center, and 1 case at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Bayview, Texas.
In the Houston area, the Houston Contract Detention Facility confirmed 8 mumps cases and the Joe Corley Detention Facility has 5 cases, reported Houston Public Media.
According to a Houston Health Department press release on February 9, 2019, seven individuals were detained during their infectious period. But, there is no evidence the virus was transmitted to anyone outside of the facility.
Previously, the state of Texas had been confronted with mumps outbreaks, such as during 2016, when the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 191 mumps cases.
Recently, during 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 2,251 mumps cases in 47 states and the District of Columbia.
And, several colleges reported on-campus, mumps outbreaks.
Unfortunately, 2019 has started off with mumps cases being reported around the USA. As of February 1st, 18 states had reported mumps infections in 58 people to the CDC.
The CDC suggests these mumps outbreaks could be related to under-vaccination by international travelers.
As an example, countries such as Honduras announced significant mumps outbreaks during 2018.
The CDC says international travelers who cannot show that they were vaccinated or are otherwise protected against mumps, should get vaccinated before leaving the USA.
In the USA, most pharmacies offer the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
People who received 2 doses of MMR vaccine as children according to the U.S. vaccination schedule are considered protected for life.
But, according to recent news, some sub-populations may need a 3rd MMR dose.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.