A Joint statement from Wasatch County School District and Wasatch County Health Department was released on Wednesday identifying a suspected case of the mumps in a student attending Old Mill Elementary School between May 6 and 13.
Based on criteria established by the Utah Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Department classified this as a suspected case of mumps.
Records indicate the child is fully-immunized. Wasatch County Health Department PIO, Chris Smoot says the MMR vaccine is more reliable in preventing measles but is less reliable for preventing mumps. He says it could have been that the child’s immune system was weakened or compromised. He says it’s very rare to see Mumps in Utah and he’s been with the Wasatch County Health Department for 13 years and hasn’t seen a case.
The time range when others would have been exposed to the Mumps would have been from May 6 to May 13. The incubation time period is 16 to 18 days from the time of exposure. Smoot says long term complications from Mumps are rare, but the virus can cause hearing loss, long term heart problems or miscarriage in pregnant women.
Children who have had contact with the student should be watched over the next couple of weeks for symptoms. The Wasatch County Health Department recommends parents take their kids to get vaccinated if they haven’t had the MMR vaccine.
Due to the timeline of the possible exposure, the District is suggesting parents/guardians at the affected school monitor their children over the next two weeks for the signs and symptoms of mumps, including:• Pain, tenderness, and swelling in one or both cheek or jaw areas• Swelling, usually peaking in 1-3 days and then subsiding during the next week• Low-grade fever lasting 3-4 days• Difficulty eating• Tiredness• Headache
Smoot says it’s classified as suspected because the child didn’t meet the confirmed status of definitively having the mumps. He says they’re erring on the side of caution by notifying the community and alerting the families with kids attending Old Mill School.
Anyone experiencing swelling of the cheek or jaw in combination with any of the above symptoms should call their healthcare provider immediately and should notify them of the symptoms prior to arriving. The best method of prevention for mumps is via the MMR vaccine. Those who wish to ensure they are fully immunized may do so either through their local health department or healthcare provider.
As a note, mumps should not be mistaken for the widely publicized virus, measles. There are currently no confirmed or suspected cases of measles in Utah.