Houston Health Department confirms mumps at Houston ICE facility

HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department (HHD) confirms seven mumps cases at an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Houston. All seven individuals are adult detainees who were detained during their infectious period. There is no evidence the disease was transmitted to anyone outside of the facility.

“Since these individuals were isolated inside the facility during the period they were infectious, we do not anticipate these cases posing a threat to the community,” said Dr. David Persse, Houston’s local health authority and EMS medical director.“

HHD is working with the facility on infection control methods and will conduct an on-site visit in the coming days.

Mumps is a vaccine-preventable contagious disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands.

Those experiencing symptoms of mumps or any highly contagious disease should immediately contact their doctor. Most people recover from mumps without serious complications.

Mumps can be prevented with two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Children should receive the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Two doses of the vaccine are 88 percent effective against mumps.*

CDC considers people who received two doses of MMR vaccine as children according to the U.S. vaccination schedule protected for life.

“Properly vaccinating your children isn’t just about protecting your child, it’s about protecting your entire family and your community,” Dr. Persse continued.

While rare, mumps outbreaks have previously occurred in the state and Houston region.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Dr. David Persse, Houston’s local health authority and EMS medical director, will be available for interviews today (Feb. 9) at 2 p.m. at the Houston Health Department, 8000 N. Stadium Drive in Houston.

*Two doses of the MMR vaccine are 88 percent effective against mumps and 97 percent effective against measles. The original version of this news release did not attribute the percentage to one of the diseases.

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