BOZEMAN – Gallatin City-County Health Department has confirmed that three children in Gallatin County have been diagnosed with mumps.
The students attend Emily Dickinson Elementary School and Chief Joseph Middle School.
Students most at risk for contracting mumps are being identified and infection control measures recommended by CDC are being implemented. Bozeman Public Schools staff, health care providers and partners at the Montana Department of Health and Human Services are working together with the health department.
According to a press release, it’s important for parents to know that most students currently attending schools have significant protection against mumps through immunizations required by Montana state law and recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While mumps does have some serious but rare potential health effects, the risk of these outcomes is significantly reduced by the vaccine and infection control precautions being pursued by the health department and the schools.
“The good news here is that we have a vaccine that dramatically reduces the risk for most children,” said Matt Kelley, health officer with Gallatin City-County Health Department. “Mumps can be serious, but the use of vaccines and public health disease control measures make the most serious complications very rare.”
Mumps is a viral disease characterized by swelling of the parotid or salivary glands along the face, neck, and jaw. The swelling can last from two to 10 days. The incubation period (time from when you were infected to when you have symptoms) is 12-25 days. Other symptoms, in addition to the swelling around the neck and jaw, include fever, malaise (tiredness), muscle aches and headache. Up to 25 percent of people with mumps may have few or no symptoms.
People who may have been exposed and who develop swelling along the face and neck along with a fever are urged to stay home from work, school, sports and all public gatherings for five days after symptoms swelling starts. They should also seek medical care to be properly diagnosed. There is no cure for mumps, and the vast majority of that infected recover with bed rest, fluids, and fever reduction measures.
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person. Saliva can pass from one person to another when they share straws, spoons, forks, cups, cans, bottles and even lip gloss. Mumps is also commonly spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and a non-infected person inhales respiratory droplets that contain the virus.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department is working to identify students in settings where cases of mumps have been identified and will be contacting those parents to provide information and health care guidance. In most cases, students who are most susceptible to mumps are those who have not been vaccinated against the disease.