Mumps cases confirmed at ICE facility in Houston

(CBS News)
Published:

There have been seven cases of mumps at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Houston, the Houston Health Department confirmed Saturday. All seven patients are adult detainees who were detained during their infectious period, and the Health Department said there is no evidence they spread outside the facility.

Only one person is currently sick, CBS Houston affiliate KHOU-TV reports. That person began showing symptoms Feb. 3. The rest of those infected have been cured.

"Chances are that some of the folks did become infected while they were there because it's like any other detention facility, you have a large number of people in a small area," Houston Public Health Authority Dr. David Persse told KHOU. "We have very, very low levels, very low levels of mumps in the United States, so while this number of seven is small, for this community, that's an uptick so that's one reason why it has our attention."

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While they don't anticipate more cases, Persse told KHOU mumps is a highly treatable illness with a recovery period of about 10 days.

Mumps is considered highly contagious but is highly preventable with a vaccine. Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands, according to the Health Department.

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 97 percent effective.

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