Mumps cases at Station Middle School now considered an outbreak too

Posted3/22/2017 5:15 AM

Station Middle School now has three confirmed cases of the mumps, making it the second Barrington Area Unit School District 220 school to have an outbreak of the disease, district officials said Tuesday. At Barrington High, the number of confirmed mumps cases increased to six, and Superintendent Brian Harris said it could eventually go to as high as 10.

"I wouldn't be surprised," said Harris at the board of education meeting at Barrington High Tuesday night. "Ten reported cases out of approximately 3,500 people who are in and out of this building every day is still well below the public health information that talks about the effectiveness of vaccines."


According to the CDC, the mumps component of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is about 88 percent effective when a person gets two doses.

The district has been getting updates on the slow spread of the disease via daily 3 p.m. conference calls with the Lake County Health Department.

"I do believe our school community has responded appropriately and diligently in all regards," Harris said. "I do believe that is part of the reason why we've seen so many reporting, I think parents and students are following up as we asked."

The Lake County Health Department updates their website daily with the latest number of confirmed, probable and suspected mumps cases.

On March 13, the health department held a vaccination clinic for Barrington High School staff and students who were not up to date with their MMR vaccinations. Harris said 85 staff members took advantage of the opportunity. He said students likely didn't take advantage because more than 99 percent of them have received two MMR vaccines already. Adults born after 1957 and before 1989 were only required to get one MMR vaccine, so Harris said the staff members used the clinic to get a second dose.

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Harris said there will be a similar clinic offered to staff and students and Station Middle School in the coming weeks.

When new confirmed cases trickle in, it means the districts small number of students who are unvaccinated for religious or medical reasons have to spend more and more time away from the student population. The district has been helping those students continue their education from home in a variety of ways, including having access to coursework through their school-issued laptops. Harris said they are also inviting the students to come in and receive one-on-one instruction after school for things like tests and time learning in the lab.

The schools are thoroughly cleaned each night to health department specifications.

Mumps is a serious contagious disease. Common symptoms are fever, headache and muscle aches, though up to half of people who get it have mild or no symptoms.

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