7 cases of mumps found in ICE detention center

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Mumps virus. 3D illustration showing structure of mumps virus with surface glycoprotein spikes heamagglutinin-neuraminidase and fusion protein.

HOUSTON — Seven cases of mumps have been identified in an ICE facility in Houston, according to the Houston Health Department.

All seven cases were adult detainees at Houston’s US Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility, and there is no evidence the disease was transmitted to anyone outside the facility, according to the Houston Health Department.

“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.

Mumps, which is typically spread through saliva and mucus, causes fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite and the characteristic puffy cheeks and jaw from swollen salivary glands. In 1977, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began to recommend two doses of the MMR vaccine for children.

The MMR vaccine is given in two doses, which is 97% effective and protects recipients for life against measles, mumps and rubella, according to the CDC.

Mumps saw a resurgence of cases last year. This may be due to a need for a booster shot to the vaccine, Harvard researchers believe.

More than 100 cases of measles were diagnosed in 21 states and the District of Columbia in 2018, according to the CDC.

Most of the people who got measles had not been vaccinated, the CDC said.

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