Health officials: 4 cases of mumps discovered in Garfield County

MMR Vaccine Vial - Needle

GARFIELD COUNTY, Okla. – Health officials in Garfield County are warning parents after four cases of mumps were confirmed this week in the area.

Officials say at least 34 more suspected cases are under investigation after students in two schools started showing symptoms of the disease.

Most of the cases deal with middle and high school students, but health officials say those affected range in age from less than 1-year-old to 41-years-old.

Mumps is a virus that is spread by coughing, sneezing and direct contact with saliva, like eating or drinking after an infected person.

Symptoms include swelling on one or both sides of the face, tenderness of the salivary glands in the cheek and jaw area, slight fever, headache, general aches and muscle pain.

Those symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after the infection, and individuals can begin spreading the virus two days before showing symptoms.

Experts say patients will usually recover on their own, but some cases can lead to serious complications.

“If parents observe symptoms of mumps in their child, we are strongly requesting that the child be kept at home for the five days after those symptoms are discovered,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. “This is the most effective way to prevent the disease from spreading.”

Two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine required for school attendance are 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. The MMR vaccine is recommended on or after a child’s first birthday with a second dose at four to six years of age.

People who are born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against mumps should get at least one dose of the MMR vaccine.

Children that need to receive the MMR vaccine may get it from their healthcare provider or the Garfield County Health Department.

Joan McIntyre, the director of health services at Enid Public Schools, released the following notice to parents on Wednesday.

“Nothing is more important to Enid Public Schools than the safety, health and wellbeing of our students and staff. We are committed to sharing information with you about concerns that could impact your child or your family.
We want to make you aware that the Garfield County Health Department has confirmed multiple cases of mumps in our community, including at Longfellow Middle School and Enid High School.
The MMR vaccine protects children against the mumps. School officials have contacted families with children whose vaccinations are out of compliance to encourage them to receive the vaccination as soon as possible. If you have any questions about your child’s vaccination status, you are encouraged to contact your healthcare provider or the Garfield County Health Department.
Carla Dionne with Garfield County Health Department has provided additional guidance for Enid residents, which can be found below. It includes detailed information about the mumps, including symptoms, vaccinations and prevention.
We appreciate your cooperation and your support of Enid Public Schools.”