Health District confirms 7 Mead School District students have mu - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Health District confirms 7 Mead School District students have mumps

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

In a letter sent out to parents on Tuesday, the Spokane Regional Health District confirmed that several Mead School District students have been diagnosed with mumps and are staying home from school until they are no longer contagious. 

The letter says seven students are infected with mumps Tuesday.

The full letter to parents is below:

Dear Parent,

This letter is to inform you that several Mead School District students (seven) have been diagnosed with mumps and are staying home until they are no longer contagious. Although risk to your student of getting mumps is low, this letter provides information specific to checking your child’s vaccination history for protection against mumps. Large outbreaks of mumps are occurring across the U.S., including in Washington State.

What is mumps? Mumps is an illness caused by a virus that can cause fever, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swelling/pain of the cheeks and jaw. Severe complications are rare, but may include swelling of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord, deafness, and swelling of the testicles or ovaries. Up to 30% of people with mumps infection will have no symptoms. Symptoms usually show up 16-18 days after a person is exposed to the virus, but could occur 12-25 days after they are exposed.

How is mumps spread? A person with mumps can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking. It can also be spread when an ill person shares drinking cups or forks and spoons, and when they touch objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.

Who is at risk of getting mumps?

• Infants who are too young to get the mumps vaccine (under 1 year of age);

• Children over 1 year of age who did not get at least 1 shot of MMR (2 shots are required for school-aged children); and • Adults born in or after 1957 who were not vaccinated or who did not previously have mumps (adults born before 1957 likely had mumps as children and are usually considered protected from the virus).

What should I do now? It’s very important that you check your child’s vaccination history for protection against mumps. Your child should have received two shots of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine during routine childhood vaccinations. If your child does not have a record of getting two shots of MMR vaccine, and if more mumps cases happen at school, it is possible your child may be asked to not attend school and stay away from public places until the outbreak is over. If your child has not received two MMR shots, please get them vaccinated at their healthcare provider’s office or visit your local pharmacy. Note that the affected student was vaccinated against mumps. While MMR is a very good vaccine (two shots are 88% effective), even with vaccination, there is still a slight chance that someone can become sick with mumps.

Watch your child for symptoms of mumps (fever, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swelling/pain of the cheeks and jaw). If your child develops any of the symptoms, you should:

• Call your child’s healthcare provider and tell them about your child’s symptoms and that they may have been exposed to mumps. Share this letter with the healthcare provider. If you go to the provider’s office, please call the office beforehand so they can take steps to make sure others don’t get sick.

• Until your child is seen by a healthcare provider, keep them home and away from other people and public settings. Please see the attached mumps Frequently Asked Questions for more information. If you have additional questions, please call your healthcare provider, school nurse, or Spokane Regional Health District staff at 509-324-1442.

Sincerely, SRHD Epidemiology Staff

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