Texas mumps cases reach 20-year high

By Amy R. Connolly

April 15 (UPI) -- Texas health department officials announced a 20-year high in mumps cases, including possible exposures on South Padre Island, a popular spring break destination.

State health officials said 221 cases of mumps have been reported so far this year, the most since 1994 when there was 234 cases.


"What we've seen -- as in other parts of the country, (it's) really just the same thing -- a pretty big resurgence in mumps cases over the last six or eight months," Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the state's health services department, told CNN.

Symptoms of mumps include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low fever, tiredness and muscle aches. Symptoms usually appear about 16 to 18 days after exposure to the virus.

A mumps vaccine was developed in 1967 and since then infections have declined some 99 percent.

"The mumps vaccine is the best way to keep from getting mumps, and research shows the mumps vaccine protects 88 percent of people who are fully vaccinated," the health department said. "However, some vaccinated people still get sick if they're exposed to the virus, so it's also important for people to help stop the spread of mumps by covering coughs and sneezes, washing their hands frequently with soap and water, and not sharing food and drinks."


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