Earlier this week, parents at Spring Lake Intermediate School received an email informing them of a suspected case of mumps. In 2017, Ottawa County had one confirmed case, two probable cases and one suspect cases of mumps, said Marcia Mansaray, epidemiologist for Ottawa County Department of Public Health.
In 2016, Ottawa County had one suspect case of mumps.
“It’s rare,” Mansaray said.
Parents whose children have a health waiver form should contact their pediatrician, Principal Ben Lewakowski said.
To determine whether a case is suspected, probable or confirmed, the health department follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s set criteria for reportable diseases.
In the absence of laboratory test results, no link to a known case, and if presenting clinical symptoms, the case can be called suspect, Mansaray said.
With the suspected case in Spring Lake, no further lab testing was done. The health department isn’t requiring additional testing because there isn’t enough evidence to support it, said Mansaray.
Not many physicians have seen mumps or encountered it in a long time, and Mansaray said there are many things that could lead to similar clinical symptoms.
Testing also has to be done at the right time or it can lead to false positive or negative results, Mansaray said.
Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, tiredness, muscle aches, swollen glands and loss of appetite.
According to the CDC, symptoms usually occur 16-18 days after the infection but it can also range from 12-25 days. Some people also might not display any symptoms.
Mumps is spread by sneezing, coughing, talking, sharing cups and utensils, and touching surfaces with unwashed hands.
Over the past several years, there have been mumps outbreaks throughout the US, and specifically in the college population. Cases have appeared in individuals who have and haven’t received the vaccination, Mansaray said.
Children can receive two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. One dose is given 12-15 months of age and a second dose 4-6 years old.
When outbreaks occur, a third vaccination can be administered, Mansaray said.