Lake County Health officials say they are concerned about the growing number of probable mumps cases in several Barrington schools, saying students who have not been vaccinated should either get the vaccine or stay home until the virus runs its course.
There were two confirmed cases and dozens more suspected as of Thursday at Barrington High School, according to principal Stephen McWilliams.
“If you are not feeling well, stay home,” he said to students and faculty.
There were more suspected cases at Prairie and Station middle schools.
Health officials say to look out for a low-grade fever, stiff neck and swollen salivary glands as symptoms of the virus. A person can be contagious for two days before experiencing any symptoms, they say.
The school notified parents of the confirmed cases and officials stressed this is a “cluster” of mumps and not an outbreak.
“I’m concerned—it’s frustrating that some kids are vaccinated and some aren’t,” said parent Diane Snyder.
In rare cases the mumps can cause sterility, meningitis or even inflammation of the brain. Health officials recommend that students and staff that are not vaccinated either get the vaccine or stay home to stop the virus from spreading.
Good hygiene is also key, health officials say, and maintenance staff at the school has been instructed to focus on “high touch” surfaces in the building.
Teachers have been told to look for symptoms among their students as well.
Published at 11:56 PM CST on Mar 2, 2017 | Updated at 11:58 PM CST on Mar 2, 2017