Mumps Now Impacting Four Schools in Snohomish County
Number of cases increases to 22 countywide
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – As the number of mumps cases continue to increase across the state, Snohomish County has seen its mumps cases double to 22 total cases. Of those cases, 9 are confirmed cases and 13 are considered probable. The Snohomish Health District is also working together with Everett Public Schools and the Stanwood-Camano School District on those cases that are impacting the following schools:
- Everett High School (1 confirmed, 6 probable cases)
- North Middle School in Everett, Wash. (2 probable cases)
- Hawthorne Elementary in Everett, Wash. (1 confirmed case)
- Twin City Elementary in Stanwood, Wash. (1 confirmed case)
The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best protection against mumps and is highly effective in preventing the virus and reducing outbreaks. Out of an abundance of caution, the Health District has recommended excluding students with no doses or one dose of MMR from attending school until the 26th day past possible exposure.
“Mumps is highly contagious and can spread easily and quickly in school settings,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer and director of the Snohomish Health District. “Keeping students safe and healthy is our primary concern, so that's why we are taking steps to prevent the spread of disease.”
Both school districts have contacted staff and families of all affected students. As soon as unvaccinated and under vaccinated students receive the required doses of MMR, the district will allow them to return to school. Exemptions for personal, medical or religious reasons will be honored, but those claiming exemptions will also be excluded from school or until the 26th day after exposure.
“Our schools are ready and well equipped to handle this health issue,” said Everett Public Schools superintendent Dr. Gary Cohn. “An important tool to ensure the health and safety of all district students and staff is to be informed about mumps and important preventive measures. We encourage families to read the information provided by the Health District and to follow up with their health care provider if they have questions or if their child is exhibiting symptoms.”
Everett Public Schools has partnered with Passport Health and the Snohomish Health District to provide the MMR vaccine to impacted students in Everett. The immunization clinic will be Saturday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cascade High School located at 801 E Casino Rd in Everett, Wash. There will be 240 doses of the MMR vaccination available to students on a first-come, first-serve basis.
What is mumps?
Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness. An infected person can spread it through face-to-face contact by coughing, sneezing, or spraying saliva while talking. Mumps can also spread when people share cups and eating utensils. Mumps is a condition that health providers must report to the local health department when a probable or diagnosed case occurs.
What are the symptoms?
- Mumps causes puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw, the result of swollen salivary glands. Other symptoms are:
- Muscle Aches
- Loss of Appetite
- Up to 10% of teen boys and men can experience swelling of the testicles. Meningitis and encephalitis are rare but serious complications of mumps.
How can you prevent mumps?
- Immunization is the most effective way to prevent mumps. Everyone should make sure they are up to date on their MMR vaccine. Children must have two doses of the MMR vaccine to attend school. Other ways to protect yourself:
- Avoid contact with anyone infected with mumps.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Don’t share cups and eating utensils.
Who is more likely to get mumps?
The Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. To read more about the District and for important health information, visit www.snohd.org.
- Babies less than one year old.
- Children older than one who have not received at least one dose of the MMR.
- Adults born in or after 1957 who have not been vaccinated or have not had mumps before.