A health official confirmed Thursday that there have been 25 cases of mumps in Cameron County this year.
Cameron County Health Director Esmeralda Guajardo said 21 of the cases involved people who traveled to another country and four who had no history of traveling anywhere. Two of the four also had no record of ever being vaccinated.
Guajardo said the group is a combination of immigrants who have been processed by Border Patrol, vacationers and people traveling to visit family.
“I don’t want to say a large percentage of them are not from immigration or detention facilities. That’s not the case,” Guajardo said. “That’s usually within the norm.”
Guajardo said some of those folks come from countries where vaccinations are not the norm.
And so far, this year is on pace to log more cases than last.
“Last year, we had 33 cases. For us it becomes an issue when it becomes a potential to become a public health risk because people were not isolated or they went too long without seeing a doctor,” Guajardo said. “We don’t have that issue here in Cameron County.”
With the increase of immigrants arriving in the Rio Grande Valley—more than 100,000 last month—health officials aren’t surprised that there are as many cases as there are this year.
Guajardo said Border Patrol agents working at processing centers, detention officers and health professionals are all trained to spot symptoms of the mumps and immediately contact the county health department.
“They understand as soon as someone shows the symptoms of mumps that they call us,” Guajardo said.
There have been a total of 39 mump cases in Hidalgo County this year.