North Texas' latest viral visitor is as familiar as it is unwelcome: mumps.
Yesterday, Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) confirmed the 10th case in the Dallas County. Even though mumps is highly contagious, each case reported so far has been related to travel.
Health authorities are urging vigilance. “The increased number of mumps cases reported in the North Texas area underscores the importance of getting your children vaccinated,” said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director.
The CDC considers people who have had two measles, mumps, and
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rubella (MMR) vaccinations immune from mumps. “At two doses, the MMR vaccine has 88 percent effectiveness,” Dr. Christopher Perkins, Dallas County's medical director, said in a release. “Getting vaccinated is the best option for protection in addition to washing hands frequently and cleaning/disinfecting objects or surfaces that may be contaminated with germs.”
The Centers for Disease Control says that mumps is "no longer very common in the United States. From year to year, mumps cases can range from roughly a couple hundred to a couple thousand. ... Before the U.S. mumps vaccination program started in 1967, about 186,000 cases were reported each year."
Symptoms of mumps are characterized by fever, headache and swelling of the salivary glands, fatigue, muscle aches and loss of appetite, DHHS says.