SPRINGDALE (KFSM) – With the Arkansas Department of Health attributing the start of a recent mumps outbreak to the City of Springdale, many parents are taking extra steps to make sure their students are practicing good hygiene.
Har-Ber parent Jeffrey Morales said he gave his children personal water bottles to carry at school, in order to avoid exchanging saliva with other students.
Saliva is directly linked to the spread of the mumps virus.
“We don’t know where their friends have been, and what they are doing. It is too easy to catch something,” Morales said.
According to the ADH, Springdale School District had the largest number of suspected cases of mumps reported in the state.
With Football Friday Night underway at schools across the area, some said they were taking their children’s health even more serious.
“We make sure the kids are drinking out of the bottle. And, whatever their favorite drink is, they will put it in. And, they are not to share it,” Morales said.
“[Students] are going to have to be careful to not share anything. I think it is going to be fine,” said Leah Hale, the grandmother of Springdale School District students.
Hale’s grandson was sent home from school this week for three days, after he came down with a sore throat. Hale said the district wanted him checked for mumps.
“They did a swab, I guess,” Hale said. “The swab came back today negative. But, he had to stay out of school until it came back negative.”
Hale, and the district, both said they believed the outbreak wasn’t as drastic and concerning as some may have thought.
“It is not [overly concerning],” Hale said, “I think it is just a flash in the pan. It is on its way out.”
However, others said they will continue to encourage their students to take extra steps to avoid contracting mumps.
“I think every parent should be alert, and vigilant, about what they are going to stand there and let their children get around,” Morales said.
The Springdale School District was not the only district that had suspected cases of mumps.
The ADH said other schools, from West Fork to Rogers, may have had possible cases as well.