Three cases of mumps connected to Huntley High School
The McHenry County Department of Health has identified three cases of mumps in connection to Huntley High School, with the first case confirmed positive in October.
The department is working with Huntley High School officials to notify parents of all students, officials said.
Mumps is a contagious viral disease that spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat when infected people cough or sneeze. Sharing food or utensils and contact with surfaces contaminated with the virus also spreads the disease.
Symptoms usually appear 14 to 18 days after exposure, but can occur up to 25 days, according to the health department.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite followed by swelling of the salivary glands causing puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Roughly one-third of infected people do not exhibit symptoms.
Persons with mumps should stay home until at least five days after symptoms appear. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. There is no treatment for mumps. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent mumps.
Children must receive the first dose of mumps-containing vaccine, MMR, at 12 to 15 months and the second dose at 4 to 6 years. Adults born during or after 1957 must have one dose of MMR. Adults at higher risk, such as university students, health care personnel, international travelers, and persons with potential mumps outbreak exposure must have documentation of two doses of mumps vaccine or other proof of immunity to mumps. People born before 1957 are immune since they likely were infected naturally.
In recent years, mumps outbreaks have occurred in schools, colleges, and camps, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since Jan. 1 of this year through Oct. 6, 1,885 cases of mumps were reported to the CDC.