Dallas County's worst mumps outbreak in years has picked up steam this week, as an additional 11 cases have been reported by Dallas County Health and Human Services, bringing the county's 2017 total to 56. Of those 56 infections of the highly contagious virus, 42 have been reported at Cedar Hill High School in southwest Dallas County.
In early March, when the first 22 cases at Cedar Hill High School were reported, DCHHS said that each of the students and teachers infected had received the two doses of the mumps measles and rubella vaccine recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Afterwards, the county recommended that each student, teacher and staff member at the high school get a third, booster dose of the vaccine.
Since that notice on March 6, 20 more people have been infected at the school. Between 2011 and 2015, the highest total number of mumps cases statewide in Texas was 20. In 2016, however, North Texas saw an outbreak in Johnson County infect more than 50 people, as the state total crept up over 60 cases. This year, driven by the Cedar Hill outbreak, that number will get much higher.
DCHHS has warned local health care workers to be on the lookout for fever, muscle aches and swelling of the salivary glands, all of which are common symptoms of mumps, as the agency expects the number of Dallas County mumps cases to continue to kick up.
Cedar Hill ISD officials say the outbreak hasn't spread from the high school to any other campuses, and urge parents to keep their kids out of school should they exhibit any of the symptoms.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.