Multiple Mumps Cases Reported in Immigrant Detention Centers Across Texas
By David Doolittle

Mumps_Outbreak

Texas physicians should be on the lookout for mumps as health officials investigate multiple cases of the infectious disease in immigration centers throughout the state.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is working alongside local health departments to investigate mumps cases that have been reported from detention facilities located across Texas, according to a health advisory issued late last week. The majority of the cases have been reported in immigrants, but some cases have been reported among facility employees, health officials said.

State law requires physicians and other health care professionals, hospitals, and laboratories to report suspected mumps cases to their local health department within one work day.

However, it is not clear if every immigration center has reported cases, DSHS officials said. Therefore, physicians should know whether there is an immigration facility in their area, and also be aware that infected employees could expose mumps to family and others.

Physicians should consider mumps as a diagnosis for patients presenting with the following symptoms, particularly those who have traveled out of the state or have come  into contact with known mumps cases:

  • Unilateral or bilateral swelling of the parotid or salivary glands, preceded by low-grade fever, myalgia, malaise, or headache; and
  • Rarely seen complications or other presentations that may include deafness, pancreatitis, oophoritis, orchitis, meningitis, and/or encephalitis.

However, up to 20 percent of those infected may be asymptomatic, officials said.

Report suspected cases to your local health department or by calling (800) 705-8868.

And be sure to visit TMA's Be Wise — ImmunizeSM webpage for information and resources on how you can help stop vaccine-preventable diseases.

Edit Jan. 29: This story has been edited to say suspected mumps cases should be reported within one work day.

Last Updated On

January 29, 2019

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David Doolittle

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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