ARIZONA NEWS

Hamilton High School student diagnosed with mumps

Mar 5, 2019, 8:43 AM | Updated: 12:52 pm
File - In this Feb. 13, 2019, file photo, a health care worker prepares syringes, including a vacci...

File - In this Feb. 13, 2019, file photo, a health care worker prepares syringes, including a vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), for a child's inoculations at the International Community Health Services in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

PHOENIX — An East Valley high school student was diagnosed with mumps, health officials with Maricopa County confirmed to KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

Rebecca Sunenshine, the medical director for disease control, said a case of mumps was reported last week at Hamilton High School in Chandler.

The school did not have a statement, and instead directed inquiries to county health officials.

It is the second case of mumps reported in Maricopa County so far this year, Sunenshine told KTAR News. The other case was an adult who had a “common exposure” to the student.

The county also recorded two cases of mumps last year.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus that is spread through the air by coughing or contact with bodily fluids from the mouth, nose, or throat.

It can also be spread when there is contact with an infected person’s saliva, such as kissing or sharing eating utensils, water bottles and other items that touch the mouth.

Some signs that you may have the mumps include swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands around the neck and jaw, a low-grade fever, muscle aches, lack of appetite, headache, earache and swelling in the genitals for men and swelling in the stomach for women.

Sunenshine told KTAR News that mumps is uncommon due to the vaccine, but because of the vaccine’s effectiveness and decreased vaccination rates, “we have been seeing more mumps cases in the United States.”

If you believe you may have the mumps, tell your health care provider that you have been exposed to the virus so other patients are not exposed.

Any students who have been diagnosed should inform their school nurse. County health officials say students can return to school on the sixth day after the onset of gland swelling.

Children typically receive two mumps vaccinations, one at 12 to 15 months and another at 4 or 5 years old. The vaccination is highly effective, but you can still get the virus if you are vaccinated.

Anyone with questions about mumps can call the Maricopa County Department of Public Health at 602-506-6767.

The report of mumps came as a measles outbreak spread across the Pacific Northwest, sickening dozens of people.

Jessica Rigler with the Arizona Department of Health Services encouraged residents to get vaccinated in order to avoid a similar outbreak in the state.

Gov. Doug Ducey has signaled that he would veto any legislation that would not “promote or extend vaccinations” in Arizona.

A state House committee recently approved a series of bills to create a religious exemption from vaccines, require doctors to provide immunization ingredients and require doctors to tell patients about an antibody test that may help determine if someone is already immune to a disease.

Doctors and public health officials say the bills would confuse parents, add unnecessary steps for doctors and ultimately reduce the rate of children receiving immunizations, but the measures are supported by people who doubt the scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective.

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Hamilton High School student diagnosed with mumps