WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District urges citizens to be aware about mumps when traveling this holiday season. Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there have been a high number of confirmed and probable mumps cases identified in several North Texas counties, including Johnson, Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant. This regional activity reflects an increase in mumps cases and outbreaks at the national level in comparison with the previous five years. There are no known or suspected cases of mumps in Wichita County.
Anyone who is not protected against mumps is at risk of getting infected, including during travel. Mumps spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Mumps can spread before swollen glands appear and for five days afterward.
The best way to protect against mumps is to get the measles-mumps-rubella shot (called the MMR shot). Doctors recommend that ALL children get the MMR shot.
Children 12 months of age or older should have two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
Teenagers and adults without evidence of immunity (protection) to mumps should have two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
Symptoms of mumps typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. Some people who get mumps do not have symptoms. Others may feel sick, but will not have swollen glands.
If you think you or someone in your family may have mumps, let your doctor know right away.
If you have specific questions about the mumps please call 940.761.7803.
For more information on the MMR shot, please call the Health District's Immunization Clinic at 940.761.6841.