Confirmed cases of mumps in Houston jail

Houston officials announced Thursday that seven people in Harris County jail have tested positive for mumps.

Test results show six inmates and one staff member contracted the virus.

Seven others have symptoms but didn’t test positive yet.

Three-hundred other inmates are quarantined after being in contact with someone who tested positive.

Here’s what the city’s health department had to say about ongoing testing at the jail.

“We have the sheriff’s jail folks who identified 14 cases of folks who potentially would have contracted mumps. We now have confirmation in seven of those because it requires some blood tests. We have to go up to the lab and we now have the confirmation of seven. The remaining are pending. The first case popped up in about mid-May. Then there was no new cases just until the last week or so, and that fits exactly what we would expect with the natural incubation period of mumps,” said David E. Persse, M.D., Dept of Health and Human Services, City of Houston.

According to the centers for disease control, mumps is spread through coughing, sneezing, talking, sharing utensils, and other forms of close contact.

Mumps is known for causing signature puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw but some will only get mild symptoms like a cold or no symptoms at all.

The MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent the disease.