Immigration

ICE Confirms 6 More Cases Of Mumps In Houston Area Detention Facilities

A total of 13 migrant detainees have tested positive for mumps at two separate facilities in the Houston area.

As of Monday morning, a total of 13 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees in the Houston area tested positive for mumps, according to a statement ICE Houston provided to News 88.7.

Eight of the cases are at the Contract Detention Facility in North Houston, while the remaining five are at the Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe. Around 4,000 detainees are held in local ICE facilities.

“Medical professionals have taken the necessary steps to quickly isolate the exposed detainees, provide proper medical care and prevent further spread of the disease,” ICE wrote in the statement.  

Seven cases of mumps among Houston ICE detainees were first reported on Saturday. The Houston Health Department said in a statement that the seven adults were detained during their infectious period, and that there was no evidence that the disease was transmitted outside the facility.

Though most people recover within weeks from mumps, it is contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing.

“We’ve been dealing with mumps for hundreds of years. It is a common viral illness,” Dr. David Persse, Houston’s local health authority, said at a press conference Saturday.  “It is unique in that it is a vaccine-preventable illness.”

The mumps vaccine is a routine part of childhood shots in the US, though not all countries have as high vaccination rates. Symptoms of mumps include fever, body aches, loss of appetite and swelling of the parotid glands. In rare cases, it can lead to more severe complications that require hospitalization.

“While for the most part mumps is nothing to be afraid of, since we have a vaccine and we could potentially eliminate it from our community, certainly for those folks that are at risk of having those really serious complications it’s important that we do everything we can to protect our community from mumps,” Persse said. 

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