Seven adult detainees at a Houston Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility have mumps, Houston Health Department officials confirmed Saturday.
Officials say there is no evidence anyone outside the facility has been infected by the contagious disease that causes swollen glands.
“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,” according to a statement by David Persse, the physician director of Houston’s Emergency Medical Services.
Mumps usually causes symptoms including fever, headache, tiredness and swollen glands under the ears or jaw for 7 to 10 days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. It can easily spread through coughing and sneezing.
While most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks, the disease can cause long-term health problems and can be deadly in rare cases, the CDC says. Deafness, meningitis and swelling of the brain are all possible impacts.
The CDC recommends the measles-mumps-rubella shot for children to protect against mumps.
Last year, more than 2,000 cases of mumps were reported nationwide, according to preliminary CDC data. In the past decade, several large outbreaks affecting hundreds or thousands of patients have been reported, the CDC says.
The Houston Health Department says it will conduct an on-site visit of the facility in coming days and is providing guidance to the ICE facility on infection control methods.
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