AHD: Confirmed Mumps Cases Now At 9, Suspected Up To 48 In NWA
SPRINGDALE (KFSM) — The Arkansas Health Department said Friday (Sept. 2) the number of suspected cases of mumps in Northwest Arkansas is up to 48 and nine cases that have been confirmed.
This comes after the Springdale School District said Wednesday eight students in four schools tested positive for the virus.
On Thursday, the school district updated its numbers. Now there are 16 students and two staff members in seven schools with suspected cases of mumps.
On Friday, the school district once again revised its numbers to 27 students and two staff members in 14 schools.
According to AHD, this is the largest outbreak of mumps since 2010. They are investigating, but right now do not know where the outbreak started.
They also said Thursday the number of suspected and confirmed cases is expected to change.
In response to the outbreak, ADH is requiring students in school with vaccine exemptions for the MMR vaccine, which covers mumps, measles and rubella, to be excluded from school for 26 days from the date of exposure and until the outbreak has ended. The district said it will be sending assignments to those students.
Springdale School District Spokesman Rick Schaeffer said all students are required to get a vaccination for mumps before they can go to class unless their parents submit a form claiming the vaccination is against their religious beliefs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mumps is a viral illness that is transmitted by direct contact with respiratory droplets or saliva from an infected person. Symptoms include painful, swollen salivary glands that show up as puffy cheeks and swollen jaw. Boys may also have painful, swollen testicles. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscles aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite.
There is no treatment, and symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few weeks. Mumps is usually a mild disease in children, but adults may have more serious disease with complications.