| August 29, 2019 03:01 PM
There have been roughly 900 confirmed and reported cases of the mumps among migrants being held at 57 federal and state detention facilities across 19 states since last September, according to a newly released government report.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report set to be published Friday found outbreaks of the mumps among migrants, many of whom entered illegally, spiked between March and June, which is when the highest number of people were arriving at the border and being transferred from Customs and Border Protection to Immigration and Customs Enforcement centers where they are held up to three weeks.
“During September 1, 2018 — August 22, 2019, a total of 898 confirmed and probable mumps cases (1) in adult migrants detained in 57 facilities (18% of 315 U.S. facilities that house ICE detainees*) were reported in 19 states; an additional 33 cases occurred among staff members,” the CDC report states.
The report is the first of its kind and captures the biggest-ever mumps outbreak in U.S. immigration facilities.
Of the 57 facilities where mumps was reported, 34 were operated by private companies, 19 were county jails, and four were ICE facilities.
The CDC concluded 84% of all cases were a result of exposure while in ICE custody or in another federal agency’s care. Only 5% picked up the infectious disease prior to entering the U.S. from Mexico, and the point of exposure for the remaining 11% was undetermined. Roughly 19-in-20 cases were found in men.
In total, 44% of cases were in state and federal facilities in Texas. As of late last week, 15 facilities in seven states still have outbreaks.
The finding comes in the midst of concerns over CBP and ICE’s not providing flu vaccines for detainees. Recently released autopsies showed three of six recent deaths of children who had passed through CBP facilities were due to the flu, though it’s not clear if vaccinations would have prevented those deaths.
The mumps breakout started last October when the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed five cases among detainees transferred into its care.
In December, eight Texas facilities and six in five other states reported 67 cases to ICE’s Health Services Corps and local health departments.
By January, another six state health departments had confirmed new mumps outbreaks, prompting CDC and ICE to stand up a unified national outbreak response. “Identifying and vaccinating close contacts of exposed or symptomatic persons with mumps in detention centers is challenging,” the report stated.
The virus leads to swollen salivary glands and tenderness on one or both sides of the face, which might lead to swollen cheeks. Patients also might have a fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and loss of appetite.
At least 13 people were hospitalized, but no fatalities have been reported by the federal government. Mumps has an incubation period of 12 to 25 days before symptoms set in.
ICE has provided more than 25,000 doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. However, the vaccine is least effective at protecting against mumps.
Approximately 16,000 cases have been reported nationwide in the total population since 2015.