HOUSTON (FOX 26) -
Health officials have a warning for parents.
The Centers for Disease Control says cases of mumps across the country are at a 10-year high and the illness is starting to spread into Texas.
Almost 4,000 people have contracted mumps across the country so far this year. The CDC says that number is a 10-year high.
Health officials still haven’t determined what’s causing the increase, but they're urging parents to get their children vaccinated.
Mumps attacks the salivary glands. If left untreated, it can cause sterility in men.
According to the CDC, Oklahoma and Missouri are two states leading in infections. Just across the Oklahoma border in North Texas, health officials report two outbreaks.
Porfirio Villarreal works for the Houston Health Department. He says the vaccine is 88% effective in the prevention of the Mumps virus.
Health officials say the disease is most common among young children and college-aged adults.
In Texas, the number of parents choosing to not vaccinate their children is increasing due to “conscientious objection,” a law that allows parents to opt out of vaccinating their kids. But if you choose to not vaccinate your children, health officials say that could be very dangerous.
Porfirio says only three people have tested positive for mumps in Houston and among those cases, one person was a Houston transplant. He advises people new to the country to also get vaccinated.