Case of Mumps suspected at Abington High School

Parents, please be aware there is a potential case of the mumps at Abington High School which prompted the Principal to send a letter out Thursday. The note reads that:

“a child showing symptoms should be excluded from group settings for at least five days. The principal also asks parents to confirm their child is age-appropriately vaccinated. “

Connected to Temple University?

It’s unsurprising that cases of the mumps have spread as far as Abington and West Chester. Temple University has a growing number of mumps infections, which is up to eighty-six cases.

Experts say closing Temple wouldn’t stop the virus. It can take weeks for symptoms to develop and people who were exposed before the closing can get sick and still spread the virus after the school re-opens.

What are the symptoms of mumps?

Symptoms of mumps usually appear within two weeks of exposure to the virus. Flu-like symptoms may be the first to appear, including:

A high fever of 103°F (39°C) and swelling of the salivary glands follow over the next few days. The glands may not all swell at once. More commonly, they swell and become painful periodically. You are most likely to pass the mumps virus to another person from the time you come into contact with the virus to when your parotid glands swell.

Most people who contract mumps show symptoms of the virus. However, some people have no or very few symptoms.

How are Mumps transmitted?

Mumps is due to an infection by the mumps virus. It can be transmitted by respiratory secretions (e.g. saliva) from a person already affected with the condition. When contracting mumps, the virus travels from the respiratory tract to the salivary glands and reproduces, causing the glands to swell.

Examples of transmission methods:

  • Sneezing or coughing.
  • Using the same cutlery and plates as an infected person.
  • Sharing food and drink with someone who is infected.
  • Kissing.
  • An infected person touching their nose or mouth and then passing it onto a surface that someone else may touch.

How long does the virus stay contagious?

Individuals infected with the mumps virus are contagious for approximately 15 days (6 days before the symptoms start to show, and up to 9 days after they start). The mumps virus is part of the paramyxovirus family, a common cause of infection, especially in children.
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