Public health officials in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas are warning of mumps outbreaks that have primarily targeted school-aged children.

Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS) officials said an outbreak in Arkansas has left 1,800 people with mumps, while, in Texas, two smaller outbreaks are under investigation.

The Center for Disease Control reports mumps is no longer very common in the United States, but outbreaks continue to occur.

Outbreaks have most commonly occurred in places where people have had prolonged, close contact with a person who has mumps, such as attending the same class, playing on the same sports team, or living in the same dormitory. --CDC

The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is one commonly given to students before attending school, but not all parents suscribe to using them.

LPSS Director of Health Services Sharon Richard, RN, said via a press release, in the case of a local outbreak of mumps, the Louisiana Office of Public Health (OPH)--and LPSS-- may exclude non-vaccinated, exposed individuals from attending schools.

Unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to mumps are usually required to stay home for at least 26 days, per OPH recommendations.

Parents who may have any questions are invited to contact the LPSS Nursing Office at 521-7280.