Texas hits 20 year high in mumps cases, how Lubbock can stay ahe - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas hits 20 year high in mumps cases, how Lubbock can stay ahead

The Medical Clinic at LCU (source: KCBD video) The Medical Clinic at LCU (source: KCBD video)

The Texas Department of State Health Services is warning healthcare providers across the state to be on alert for mumps, while Texas is experiencing a 20-year high in mumps cases.

They say this year Texas has already seen 221 mumps cases, the highest since 234 cases in 1994.

Luckily, the City of Lubbock Health Department tells us there are no confirmed mumps cases in Lubbock at this time.

We spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Physician and Director of the Medical Clinic at Lubbock Christian University to find out how Lubbock can stay ahead of this.

The City of Lubbock Health Department sent the advisory out to local clinics, including the one at LCU, encouraging doctors to keep an eye out for symptoms consistent with mumps so they can detect potential cases early.

"It often presents as kind of a flu like illness with some fever, some achiness, and things like that. Usually followed by some swelling of the parotid glands, which is in the cheek. And that can be pretty significant swelling and inflation and pain. Often associated with earaches as well," Dr. Smith said.

Dr. Smith says these symptoms can take two to three weeks to develop, and if you are experiencing them or think you may have been exposed to mumps, he says the best thing to do is contact your doctor before going in.

“That way they can take appropriate measures and precautions to make sure they’re not unnecessarily exposing other people. And it’s important that health care providers do report that to the health department. Even suspected cases before it’s confirmed," Dr. Smith said.

While Lubbock doesn’t have any confirmed cases at this time, Dr. Smith says there are many preventative measures as it is contagious and can spread through coughing, sneezing and sharing food and drinks.

“Routine immunization practices are that all children are supposed to receive two immunizations during childhood. There has been some discussion in doing boosters with adults whenever there are outbreaks. But there is no official recommendation on that yet," Dr. Smith said. "Avoiding any sneezing, coughing around people without proper precautions there. Covering their mouth. Routine hand washing, hand sanitizer and things like that to be careful of spreading the disease.”

You can view the full Texas Department of State Health Services mumps health advisory here: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/news/releases/2017/HealthAdvisory-04122017.aspx

Here is a link to the City of Lubbock Health Department, where you can find the department's contact information: https://www.mylubbock.us/departmental-websites/departments/health-department/home 

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