There’s no concern of wide-spread outbreak after another local case of mumps was recently reported, according to the Lake County Health Department.
A student at Fremont Middle School in Mundelein is the most recent instance with a probable case of mumps. That marks the fifth case in Lake County this year after just one in 2013, said Leslie Piotrowski, Lake County Health Department spokeswoman.
The health department worked with Fremont school officials to send a letter to parents making them aware of the mumps case and to determine if any other students had symptoms, Piotrowski said.
Because the county’s five cases of mumps were not close in geography or time, the health department has not issued any special precautions to other schools in the county, Piotrowski said.
Mumps cases are categorized as suspect, probable or confirmed. Four of this year’s Lake County cases were probable, or more likely to be confirmed, and one was supsect, or less likely to be confirmed.
While it’s not fullproof, the best way to prevent mumps is to be immunized with the mumps, measels and rubella (MMR) vaccine, Piotrowski said.
“We do see it as being an increase,” Piotrowski said of this year’s reported cases. “But the vaccine, it’s not 100-percent effective so there are going to be cases of mumps, ocassionally, even with people who have received the vaccine.”
The virus is spread by coughing and sneezing and by direct contact with saliva, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Symptoms usually include fever, headache, and swelling and tenderness of one or more of the salivary glands.
There is no specific treatment for mumps. To cease the spread of the disease, health officials recommend regular hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick.