Advising people to take extra precautions and respond quickly when cases are diagnosed, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued a warning about multiple outbreaks of mumps in the state this week.
It's the same steps that students, staff and administrators at Cedar Hill ISD are already taking.
Since February, Cedar Hill ISD has had 41 confirmed cases of mumps. But, as he'll tell parents in a health forum scheduled next Wednesday night at Cedar Hill High School, Superintendent Orlando Riddick believes the outbreak is now under control because they took such action.
"We're managing it," he said. "I don't know if you can manage it to a zero level. But I think some our practices are good in an effort to help mitigate it."
That mitigation included extra cleaning efforts in the school, greater use and availability of hand sanitizers and offering booster shots to make sure everyone's MMR vaccinations are up to date. Each of those steps experts recommend.
“I think the recommendation to have an additional vaccine is the right one,” said Dr. Glenn Hardesty, with Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.
Dallas County Health reports 81 confirmed mumps cases so far in Dallas County this year. And their recommendations include receiving at least two doses of the MMR vaccine. And if in an exposed population, the application of a third booster shot just as Cedar Hill has offered his - a third booster shot - just as they've offered at Cedar Hill.
But Dr. Glenn Hardesty says this isn't just about the mumps. He diagnosed a patient with influenza just Wednesday.
"Take precautions, get your immunizations, and make sure they're up to date,” Hardesty said. “And if you're in one of those special groups that's exposed, make sure you take that special extra step to prevent catching the disease and spreading the disease."
"What we need to do just to be sure that all of the practices that we do around health are vital no matter what you may be addressing,” Riddick said.
The CHISD Health Forum, where students and parents will be able to get information from a variety of experts, will focus on a wide-range of health issues, not just the mumps. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 19, a Wednesday, in Hawkins Hall at Cedar Hill High School.
The Texas Department of State Health Services says the state is experiencing a 20-year-high in mumps cases. Texas has had 221 mumps cases this year, the largest number since 234 cases were reported in 1994.