The school administration would like to inform you about an increase in mumps cases in Colorado. As of February 8, there have been 27 cases of mumps in Colorado, and this number is expected to grow. In order to minimize the spread of mumps in schools, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has asked us to provide the following information.
Mumps is a viral infection that causes painful swelling of one or more salivary glands, a low-grade fever, and headache. Typically, persons with mumps have swelling of the parotid gland located in the cheek area near the ear and at the back angle of the jaw. Some people with mumps infection will have no symptoms at all. Severe complications from mumps are rare, but can include swelling of the brain, inflammation of the ovaries or testicles, or deafness.
Mumps is spread by coughing and sneezing or direct contact with the saliva of an infected person, such as by sharing cups or eating utensils. Symptoms of mumps usually develop 16 to 18 days after being around someone with mumps. People infected with mumps can spread the virus from 2 days before through 5 days after gland swelling develops.
Please contact your child’s healthcare provider if your child develops any swelling of the glands around the ears or neck. If the health care provider thinks your child has mumps, he/she can be tested for mumps and must stay home for 5 days after gland swelling begins.
All students (kindergarten through 12th grade) are required to have two valid doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine for school entry, unless a vaccine exemption has been filed. MMR vaccine is usually given at 12-15 months of age with another dose given at school entry (4-6 years of age). Persons born prior to 1957 probably had mumps disease and are likely immune to mumps.
Please review your child’s immunization record to make sure your child has the right number of valid MMR vaccinations (1 vaccine if in pre-school and 2 vaccines if in kindergarten through college). If you need assistance locating your child’s immunization record, contact your healthcare provider or call the Colorado Immunization Information System at 303-692-2437 or 1-888-611-9918. Contact your child’s health care provider or local health department if your child needs an MMR vaccination.
People who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people when exposed to mumps. However, some people who receive two doses of MMR can still get mumps, especially if they have prolonged, close contact with someone who has the disease. If a vaccinated person does get mumps, they usually have less severe illness than an unvaccinated person.
If mumps affects your school and your child is not appropriately vaccinated, he/she could be excluded from school for 25 or more days depending on how many people have mumps at the school.
Information on low or no-cost vaccines can be found by clicking here