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Texas and Arkansas Investigate Mumps Outbreaks

The Louisiana Office of Public Health (OPH) recently notified Lafayette Parish School System officials that the Arkansas Department of Health is investigating a large outbreak of mumps in their state in which 1800 people may have been infected, most of which are school-aged children. The Texas Department of Health is also investigating 2 smaller outbreaks. There are currently no mumps outbreaks in Louisiana.

These outbreaks of mumps in neighboring states should serve as a reminder for families of unimmunized children to consider vaccinating their children. In the case of a local outbreak of mumps, the OPH and the Lafayette Parish School System may exclude non-vaccinated, exposed individuals from attending school. Unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to mumps are usually required to stay home for at least 26 days, per OPH recommendations.

The gathering of large groups of people makes schools a common place to share illnesses. We urge all parents to protect their children by ensuring that they are up to date on all recommended vaccines. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Lafayette Parish School System Nursing Office at (337) 521-7280.

Parents should consider having their children immunized for the flu. It takes 2 to 4 weeks for a flu shot to give enough of an immune response to offer protection. Many times we are taking a flu shot more to protect those we care about than ourselves, especially those who are older or have health problems and are more vulnerable. Flu kills over 30,000 people in the US in an average flu season.