What is mumps and how does it spread?
A Belleville West High School student might have a case of the mumps, officials reported Wednesday.
The student’s doctor is waiting on test results, Principal Rich Mertens wrote in a letter.
“At this time, we do not have results from the tests; however; as a precautionary measure, this message is being delivered to all of our students, families, and staff at Belleville West,” Mertens wrote in his letter.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website states that while mumps is not common, outbreaks usually occur when people spend a long period of time in close contact with someone infected — classrooms, sports teams, etc.
Belleville High West District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier said he did not want to alarm parents, but felt it was in their best interest to be informed of the situation.
“We don't have a confirmation yet, so we don't want to alarm people but we did feel like we needed to let them know there is a potential in case there is somebody that has not been vaccinated,” he said.
Dosier said it will be two to seven days for the student’s test results to be returned.
Most people who come done with the mumps recover in a few weeks, the CDC reported, although the illness can potentially be serious in adults.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands.
Recently, an Alton elementary student was just diagnosed with mumps in mid February.
Dosier said the school will monitor the situation and work to keep students in a clean environment.
“Fortunately we have implemented more extensive cleaning because it is flu season, so we will continue to do that,” he said. “It’s spread by droplets, so that why we will be taking those extra precautions — wiping rails, door handles, places that people would touch, in the restroom all those different kinds of things.”
He said as of Wednesday afternoon no other Belleville West student had reported a possible case of the mumps.
“We wanted to get the information out — just in case there might be someone with a medical issue that the mumps could really impact — but we also don't want to alarm,” Dosier said. “We understand there is a fine line there.”