The Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department has reported one confirmed case of the mumps and five possible mumps cases that are under investigation. Health officials have determined the case may have originated in a Mission health facility.
“The location is closed and the organization has been extremely cooperative. The remediation process is well underway,” Mission Emergency Management Coordinator James Cardoza said. “Now the City of Mission is being pro-active and we have launched an awareness campaign not only to the affected facility, but to all health facilities in Mission.”
Mission emergency management officials are distributing educational material about preventative measures like symptoms to look for and cleaning products to use, to the Sharyland and Mission school districts, and to all health facilities in the city. City leaders are also working closely with the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department on infection control measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). City officials will continue to monitor the situation closely.
“As soon as we were notified of the situation, we called an emergency city council meeting to create an effective action plan,” Mayor Dr. Armando O’Caña said. “The health, safety and well-being of our community is our biggest priority.”
Mumps is a vaccine-preventable disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, tiredness, muscle aches and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Most people recover from mumps without serious complications. Anyone experiencing symptoms of mumps should immediately contact their doctor.
“Mumps can be serious, but the use of vaccines and public health disease control measures make the most serious complications very rare,” Mayor O’Caña said. “We all need to do our part to protect ourselves and help limit the spread of this disease. Make sure your immunizations are up to date.”
Mumps can be prevented with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Children should receive their first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. The CDC considers people who received two doses of MMR vaccine as children, according to the U.S. vaccination schedule, protected for life. Most people are vaccinated against the mumps as children. Anyone who is not, should contact their doctor.
Even though the vaccine has drastically reduced mumps cases, outbreaks still occur. Outbreaks have most commonly occurred among groups of people who have prolonged close contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or water bottles, practicing sports together, or living in close quarters with a person who has mumps. Some vaccinated people may still get mumps if they are exposed to the virus. However, disease symptoms are milder in vaccinated individuals.
Some people who get mumps have very mild symptoms like a minor cold, or no symptoms at all and may not know they have the disease. If you think you or someone in your family may have mumps, or may have been exposed, let your doctor know right away.