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A possible case of mumps has been reported within Will County School District 92, according to a letter sent to district parents Feb. 19.
“This letter is to inform you that a person in your student’s school may have contracted a case of mumps,” the letter states.
The letter does not specify which of the four D92 schools the student attends, but D92 Interim Superintendent Mark Fleming said in an email to The Horizon that the student “is out of the district and will be out until cleared to return to school by the child’s doctor.”
The letter goes on to state: “You are being told about this situation so that you can be aware of this disease, how it is transmitted, and how to prevent infection. Mumps is not common in children that are up-to-date with their vaccinations.”
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by the mumps virus, the letter states. The disease typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of salivary glands, according to the letter. It is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat, generally when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
The district’s letter also states that the best way for parents to prevent their children from getting mumps is to make sure they are up-to-date with their vaccinations and to contact their child’s primary care provider if they are not sure whether their child has received the mumps vaccine.
Parents are asked to notify their primary care provider immediately if anyone in the household develops symptoms of mumps and if the health care provider suspects mumps, parents should contact the child’s school nurse, the letter stated.
This is the third mumps scare at a local school district in the last several months. Homer Community Consolidated School District 33C took precautions following a suspected mumps case at Goodings Grove School last month, and the test for a suspected mumps case at Lockport Township High School this past December came back negative.