On Thursday, March 2nd, Barrington High School officials confirmed the mumps virus has spread to two individuals, a student and an adult employee. According to the Lake County Health Department, the first case of the disease was recorded on Wednesday night.
The latest report raises the total number of confirmed mumps cases to 18. However, health experts say that one of those cases is probable, which means blood tests came back positive. In addition, health experts said Barrington Middle School’s Prairie and Station campuses have seen nine suspected cases of mumps. Nevertheless, the numbers are too low for health officials to regard it as an outbreak. Furthermore, Arlington Heights’ spokesman revealed that South Middle School also saw one possible case of mumps. In light of these events, the students’ parents have been informed by e-mail about the latest developments. Also, the educational facilities have scheduled and in-depth cleaning.
Even with the number of cases on the rise, parents remain confident the outbreak will not get out of hand. Most of them rely on the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine.
“They’re vaccinated so I’m not too worried about it”, said Kevin Diluia, a South Middle School parent.
Health experts took the opportunity to remind everyone that the disease is highly contagious and poses a real threat to the population. According to the physicians, mumps symptoms include swollen glands below the year, neck, and jawline. Other symptoms include fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite, and fever. Ultimately, the virus spreads through sneezing, coughing, and any other contact with infected saliva.
Individuals could contract the virus and develop symptoms two or three weeks later, health experts say. Furthermore, the disease is most transmittable two days before symptoms develop. Hence, physicians expect to see a surge in the number of mumps patients in the upcoming weeks.
Up to this point, however, parents declared themselves happy with the school officials’ response to the threat and said they were not particularly concerned for their children. Nevertheless, they do encourage their offspring to stay alert. On Friday, classes have been dismissed and schools’ officials said the deep cleaning process will continue through the weekend. Students exhibiting mumps symptoms have been excused and recommended to stay home for as long as necessary.
Image Source: Wikipedia