The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Wednesday it is investigating multiple outbreaks of mumps throughout the state of Texas.

Recent outbreaks have resulted in the state experiencing the highest incidence of mumps in 22 years.

State, regional, and local health departments are investigating the outbreaks throughout the state.

Multiple outbreaks include possible exposures on South Padre Island. The Texas DSHS said this first came to light this week after another state health department contacted them about a patient with mumps who had traveled to the area for spring break.

This prompted the department to alert other states and as of Tuesday, they have been notified of 13 mumps cases in people who traveled to the island between March 8 and March 22 from six states, including two cases from Texas.

The disease is highly communicable and anyone who has traveled out of the state or encounter known mumps cases should look for the following symptoms:

  • Unilateral or bilateral swelling of the parotid or salivary glands preceded by a low-grade fever, myalgia, malaise, or headache.

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Mumps is transmitted from person to person by respiratory droplets or saliva. The incubation period is 16-18 days (range of 12 – 25 days) from exposure to onset of parotitis. People infected are contagious from three days before to five days after onset of parotitis.