Rogers School District Reports Two Cases Of Suspected Mumps

SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- The Rogers Schools District said Thursday (Sept. 8) two students have symptoms of mumps.

The students attend Rogers New Technology High School.

The Arkansas Department of Health requires the students to stay out of school until five days after they are no longer showing symptoms. The ADH is also requiring students who are not vaccinated to remain out of school until they have either had the vaccine or for a period up to 26 days.

The health department had also reported suspected cases of mumps in the Bentonville School District, but later revised that statement. According to the ADH, there are no cases of mumps in Bentonville.

The outbreak was first reported in Springdale Aug. 31.

"Last week we were in the high 20s at the end of last week, and we come back this week and we only have four," said Rick Schaeffer, Springdale school district spokesman. "[The Department of Health] told us it would start to level off and we're happy to see that."

The health department also updated the number of suspected and confirmed mumps cases to 76 from 64 the day before.

"We think it's going to get worse before it gets better," said Dr. Dirk Haselow, an Arkansas state epidemiologist. "What we have seen up until this point is an increase in cases every week. So this is still amplifying, it's not dampening."

Community clinics are being set up by ADH, which are targeted toward people who are more at risk of being exposed to mumps. A mass clinic open will be open to the public on Sept. 21, but details are still be finalized, said Haselow.

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.

Haselow said people over the age of 30 should check medical records to verify that they received the recommended two dose vaccination as children. The second shot, about 88 percent effective, is supposed to lesson the symptoms of mumps should a person contract the virus.

"Vaccines given to people who have already been exposed aren't going to impact the outcome," Haselow said. "So, we're only going to see this play off in about two or three or four weeks."