Officials confirm 7 mumps cases at Houston immigration detention facility

The Houston Health Department says there are seven confirmed cases of mumps at an immigration detention facility in the city.

Health officials say there is no reason for alarm. The health department says all seven patients are adult men, and all of them were at the facility during the period when the illness could spread.

Doctors say they aren't concerned about a possible threat to the community, but do say it is uncommon to see this many cases.

"Time once was in this country where mumps was prolific and kids had it all the time and they passed it from one to the next. We then developed the vaccine, and we have not eradicated it from our community but we have very low levels from year to year. Very low levels of mumps in the United States," Dr. Persse says. "So while the number of seven is small, for this community that's an uptick. That's one of the reasons it has our attention."

Dr. Persse says there have only been two confirmed cases of mumps in the Houston area in the past five years.