A Houston High School student has tested positive for mumps.
The district will be sending a letter home to parents and guardians Friday informing them “your child may have been exposed to a person with mumps at the Houston R-1 School District.” The letter was posted on the district’s Facebook page Friday morning.
Dr. Moss, superintendent of Houston Schools, said the district received information about the situation Thursday night. The case was confirmed Friday, he said.
“We want everyone to know what is going on and what to watch for,” Moss said. “If your child has symptoms, get them to a doctor or health care provider.”
Moss said Michelle Moseley, one of the district’s two nurses, has been communicating with the Texas County Health Department.
“We want to do what we can do to keep it from spreading,” Moss said.
Mumps is a contagious viral illness. Symptoms can include swollen salivary glands and cheeks as well as low-grade fevers, although may people do not have symptoms. It is spread through respiratory droplets –– coughing and sneezing –– and saliva. Sharing cups and utensils may spread the virus.
Persons with mumps are infectious three days before to five days after the onset of parotitis. Health officials say anyone diagnosed with or suspected of having mumps should stay home for five days.
Vaccination is the best protection against the mumps infection. Children typically receive the first mumps, measles and rubella vaccine (MMR) at 12-15 months and a second dose between the ages of 4 and 6. Adults who have not had two doses of the MMR vaccine can receive it.
A mumps outbreak is ongoing at the University of Missouri, where 193 confirmed and probable cases have been reported. Events on campus have been canceled due to the situation.