Mumps has now affected students at a fifth school in Fife, bringing the number of cases in Pierce County to 36.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department confirmed Friday that a student at Surprise Lake Middle School has the mumps.
The student is not in school and may not return until no longer contagious.
Health officials did not release the age, gender or grade of the student.
“Since early December, the number of mumps cases in Pierce County has gone from just a few to more than 35 today,” said Nigel Turner, the Health Department’s communicable disease division director. “The virus continues to spread. Immunization is the best way to control the outbreak.”
There are 11 confirmed cases in the county and 25 probable cases.
Of those patients, 69 percent are under 17 and 64 percent are up to date on vaccinations.
Turner said mumps spreads quickly in schools because it is highly contagious and students are in close contact for prolonged periods.
Students in Fife Public Schools who have not been vaccinated must not attend school starting Feb. 6, according to the Health Department.
The exclusion will affect 16 of the 562 students at Surprise Lake.
Other Fife schools with confirmed cases of mumps are Endeavour Intermediate, Discovery Primary, Columbia Junior High and Fife High School.
All students contracted mumps outside of school, officials said.
Other affected districts in Pierce County include Puyallup School District, which has two cases, and Tacoma Public Schools, which has one case.
A Jason Lee Middle School student was confirmed to have mumps Wednesday.
Two students at Northwood Elementary School were confirmed to have mumps earlier this month.
The outbreak, which has been described as the worst in Washington in 26 years, originated in South King County with 99 cases in Auburn.
As of Friday, there were 301 cases reported in the state.
King County had the most with 163 cases.
Spokane County has 92.
Thurston County and Yakima County each have one.
Ferry County has two.
Grant County and Snohomish County each have three.
Mumps can be spread through face-to-face contact with coughing, sneezing or sharing cups and utensils.
Symptoms can include puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw, fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite.
Learn more at tpchd.org.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653