ROGERS (KFSM) -- As the number of mumps cases in Northwest Arkansas keeps climbing, the Arkansas Department of Health will be holding an informational meeting at Rogers Heritage High School on Wednesday (Sept. 14) at 6 p.m. to give parents an opportunity to ask questions about the virus.
The health department updated its count to 150 cases of suspected and confirmed mumps in the area, as of Thursday. They also said that a suspected case of mumps in Huntsville has been confirmed, which means the virus has now been found in Huntsville, Rogers and Springdale school districts.
On Monday (Sept. 12), the Fayetteville school district reported a doctor notified them that his patient, who is a student at an elementary school, had the mumps. The health department said they're still investigating that case.
They're also still investigating a suspected case of mumps in West Fork.
Parents will be able to voice concerns and find out more about the virus and how to prevent it at the Wednesday night meeting.
“We emphasize healthy hygiene, very frequent hand washing, covering your sneezes with your elbow, and just steps like that, just common sense things to try to help prevent the spread of different diseases,” said Ashley Siwiec, Rogers School District communications director.
The informational meeting will be led by a representative from the Health Department. The department says the mumps were likely brought here by someone who went to Iowa, which is also dealing with an outbreak.
The health department will be holding a free immunization clinic next Wednesday (Sept. 21), at The Jones Center in Springdale.
- Sept. 15: At the Benton County Health Dept. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Mercy Clinic Pediatrics from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sept. 16: At the Benton County Health Dept. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Sept. 17: At Mercy Clinic Pediatrics from 8 a.m. to noon
- Sept. 29: At Benton Co. Health Dept. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and at Mercy Clinic Pediatrics from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sept. 30: At Benton Co. Health Dept. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Oct. 1: At Mercy Clinic Pediatrics from 8 a.m. to noon.