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Puyallup schools see second confirmed mumps case

A vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella is shown on a countertop at a California clinic in 2015. There has been a second confirmed case of the mumps among Puyallup School District students, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department announced Monday afternoon.
A vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella is shown on a countertop at a California clinic in 2015. There has been a second confirmed case of the mumps among Puyallup School District students, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department announced Monday afternoon. AP file, 2015

A second case of mumps among Puyallup School District students has been confirmed, according to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

A female student who attends Edgemont Junior High School was confirmed to have had mumps Monday, according to the Health Department. The first case was a Northwood Elementary School student, whose diagnosis was confirmed Thursday.

Mumps spreads quickly and easily in school settings because the virus is highly contagious among people in close contact for prolonged periods, the release states.

Students who don’t have completed measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations will be excluded from Edgemont and Northwood schools under state Department of Health Protocol.

Thirteen possibly affected students at Northwood will be excluded starting Jan. 16, while seven possibly affected at Edgemont will be excluded starting Jan. 17.

After unvaccinated or undervaccinated students receive both doses of the MMR vaccine, the district will allow the students to return to classes. Free immunizations are available most days at the South Hill Mall in Puyallup, according to the department.

“Prevention is the best protection against disease outbreaks,” said Nigel Turner, the local health department’s communicable disease division director.

Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness spread through face-to-face contact by coughing, sneezing or spitting while talking. It also can be spread through shared eating implements.

Symptoms include puffy cheeks, swollen jaw, fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. Males might suffer from testicular swelling.

Newborns and those who have not been vaccinated are particularly susceptible to the infection.

The current mumps outbreak started in South King County before spreading to Pierce County on Dec. 9. There have been 11 confirmed cases in Pierce County and five more are being investigated. More than 100 cases have been reported in King County.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

More online

Find more information about mumps at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department website, tpchd.org/mumps.

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