Potential Mumps Case Reported at Suburban School: Officials

It marks the latest case amid an outbreak at another area school

Officials are warning parents of students at Lockport Township High School that a person at the school may have contracted a case of mumps.

Schools officials warned parents in a letter Thursday, saying they wanted them to “be aware of the symptoms of this disease, how it is transmitted, and how to prevent infection.”

It was not immediately clear if the person with the possible mumps case was a student or adult.

It marks the latest case amid an outbreak at another area school.

Last week, health officials issued an alert in Will County due to an outbreak at Lewis University. There, officials said there is one confirmed case and nine potential other cases of mumps. The outbreak prompted school officials to cancel December commencement.

The Will County Health Department said a majority of suspected mumps cases at Lewis University involve students who have had two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Because of that, they recommend anyone with swollen salivary glands and other mumps symptoms be tested regardless of their shots records. Those who do get tested should also stay home for at least five days while they await the results.

The department also recommended anyone with two previous vaccines who have come into contact with someone experiencing mumps symptoms should get a third shot "as soon as possible."

The "very contagious airborne virus" is easily spread by droplets and contact, health officials said.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swelling of salivary glands. Other more serious symptoms can occur in rare cases, like meningitis, swelling of the testes or ovaries and inflammation of the joints.

Ways to prevent contracting mumps include:

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue away after use

• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If water is not near, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner

• Do not share eating and/or drinking utensils

• Refrain from close contact with individuals who are sick/experiencing symptoms

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

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