Three more Tacoma Public Schools students have confirmed mumps cases, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department announced Thursday.
Two of the students attend Stadium High School, and the third attends Jason Lee Middle School, the Health Department wrote in a news release. The other Tacoma Public Schools mumps case, reported Jan. 24, also attends Jason Lee.
The students will be allowed to return to school when they are no longer contagious, Health Department spokeswoman Edie Jeffers said. The three contracted mumps outside of school.
The first Jason Lee student infected with mumps has returned to school, Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel said.
Twenty students each at Stadium and Jason Lee will be excluded from school until they have completed their vaccinations or the incubation period for mumps passes with no further reported cases.
Deputy Superintendent Josh Garcia said some unvaccinated students from Bryant Montessori and Grant Center for the Expressive Arts have also been excluded from school because they took classes at Jason Lee and might have been exposed to mumps there.
He said the school district is providing individual learning plans, including online learning, to students affected during the exclusion period. It is also loaning computers to families who need them to access the online program.
He also said that district maintenance staff is “deep cleaning” in affected schools in an attempt to minimize the spread of the disease.
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.
In Pierce County, there have been 41 cases of mumps since the first probable case was identified Dec. 9, according to the Health Department. At least four Fife Public Schools students and two Puyallup School District students also have contracted mumps.
There are 177 current mumps cases in King County, 71 confirmed and 106 probable, according to the King County Health Department. Children ages 17 and younger account for 113 of the cases.
Auburn is home to 127 of King County’s mumps cases, Federal Way 14 and Kent 13.
A free mumps vaccination is available most weekdays at the South Hill Mall in Puyallup. Details can be found at the Health Department website, tpchd.org/immunizations.
Staff writer Debbie Cafazzo contributed to this report.