Southern Texas Mumps Outbreak Reaches 13 Confirmed Cases

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley reported 4 mumps cases during April 2019

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The Hidalgo County Health Department confirmed 7 additional cases of the mumps virus in the southeast Texas border community.   

Hidalgo County, Texas includes the cities of Edinburg, McAllen and Mission. 

The news report by ValleyCentral.com means a total of 13 mumps cases have been confirmed in southeast Texas since this mumps outbreak was first reported in Mission on April 2, 2019. 

Additionally, a Twitter post by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) on April 25, 2019, confirmed that 4 of the 13 mumps cases are staff members at the Edinburg campus. 

And, there are an additional ‘30 UTRGV staff members under investigation for mumps exposure.’ 

These new mumps cases in Hidalgo County have not been connected to 193 mumps cases previously reported at ICE facilities in Texas. 

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), due to traditional high vaccination rates in Texas, mumps incidence has been traditionally low. However, there has been a recent surge in mumps cases. 

According to DSHS, as of March 2019, there were 193 confirmed mumps cases in Texas during the 2018-2019 time frame. And, in 2017, 470 cases of mumps were reported in Texas. 

Moreover, various colleges in Texas, such as Texas State and TCU, reported mumps cases on campus during 2018. 

On a nation-wide base, from January 1 to March 29, 2019, 34 states and the District of Columbia have reported mumps infections in 426 people to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

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"Our current situation with mumps has gotten interesting because we got more laboratory tests back," said Eddie Olivarez, Chief Administrative Officer with the Hidalgo County Health Department (HCHD), reported to Valley Central. 

Olivarez continued saying, ‘they're working on combating the mumps issue through a push for the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccination.’ 

"Educating folks and treating people symptomatically and reminding them that vaccinating their kids and adults, if they need to be re-vaccinated and in high-risk groups, then that's the way to go," said Robert Martinez, a Chief Medical Officer with the Doctor's Hospital at Renaissance. 

Mumps is a vaccine-preventable disease caused by a virus. Mumps can be prevented with 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, says the CDC. 

“With the resurgence of vaccine-preventable illnesses it’s important to be up to date on vaccinations and any boosters one may need”, said Lauren Ragan, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist, MTM and Immunization Specialist for Brookshire Grocery Company.

“Please see your doctor or pharmacy to find out what vaccines you may need to receive especially if you live near an on-going outbreak.”

Additionally, waning of vaccine-induced immunity over time after receipt of the 2nd vaccine dose in high-intensity exposure settings, such as college campuses, contributes to this higher risk for mumps disease, says the CDC. 

In Texas, most pharmacies offer MMR vaccination services. And, mumps vaccine discounts can be found at Vaccine Discounts

Relevant Links:  CDC vaccination schedules, CDC price list, how to report vaccine side effects, and international travel alerts.