Mumps outbreak sparks vaccination debate in Amarillo

Many parents have opted out of vaccinating their children, against doctor's recommendations. (Colby Smalzel, ABC7 Amarillo)

Mumps are on the rise across the country including two cases being reported in Randall County.

Officials from The City of Amarillo Department of Public Health say it is because vaccination rates have dropped.

Many parents have opted out of vaccinating their children against doctor's recommendations.

"Some of the benefits are it helps build your immune system up to certain diseases you get vaccinated for,” said Dr. Yagnesh Desai, with ER Now. “They can help prevent you from getting these infections that can otherwise cause very long term, detrimental effects on your health and your body."

But Desai said like any medication, there is always a possibility of side effects.

"If you have a compromised immune system then getting vaccinations can be very risky for you,” said Desai.

"The viruses can change their identity,” said Roby Mitchell, who is against vaccinations. “They can put on a different mask so that you don't recognize them. Then, that one vaccine doesn't work anymore for that particular virus."

Some parents choose a different approach to keeping their children healthy.

"Anything that is passed by a virus we have to prevent those by boosting the children's immune system. We do that with things like vitamin a, vitamin c, iodine,” said Mitchell.

As for mumps in Amarillo, Desai said it is best to steer clear of anyone who has them whether you have the vaccination or not.

"It's hard to avoid contact out in the world unless you live in a bubble,” said Desai, “But getting vaccinated is probably the easiest, safest way to prevent from getting mumps."

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