Unconfirmed Case of Mumps at E.W. Pratt High School

Unconfirmed Case of Mumps at E.W. Pratt High School
Posted on 09/17/2018
Unconfirmed Case of Mumps at E.W. Pratt High SchoolWhile it is common for children to suffer from illnesses such as the flu or colds, it is uncommon for an illness to be of such concern that it requires me to bring it to your attention. However, such are the present circumstances. Following a recent investigation, there has been an unconfirmed case that a student at E.W. Pratt High School has the mumps. Confirmation will take place later this week, however, we feel it very important to make you aware of the situation, especially for those students who are missing immunization or have declined immunization.

Mumps is a contagious viral infection that can cause painful swelling of the salivary glands, especially the parotid glands (between the ear and the jaw). Some people with mumps won't have gland swelling. They may feel like they have a bad cold or the flu instead. Mumps is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes near you or shares food or drinks. You can spread the virus 7 days before and for 9 days after symptoms start. You are most likely to spread the virus 1 to 2 days before and 5 days after symptoms start. Symptoms may include:
• Swelling and pain in the jaw. One or both cheeks may look swollen.
• Fever.
Headache, earache, sore throat, and pain when you swallow or open your mouth.
• Tiredness, with aching in the muscles and joints.
• Poor appetite and vomiting.

The division is working to mitigate the risk to students and staff as much as is possible. Parents should know that schools do not hold student records regarding immunizations and parents are responsible to ensure their child’s immunizations are up to date. Teaching staff are reminding students about the importance of good hand hygiene, not sharing items that may contain saliva (such as water bottles, utensils, lip gloss) and to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their forearm.

We are also asking parents to please advise your school if anyone in your household is diagnosed with mumps. It is considered communicable and therefore, it may be necessary to have your child stay at home to avoid possible spread to other students and staff. Should the situation worsen, we will advise you of any action the school may need to take.

As per current practice, if a highly contagious vaccine-preventable disease, such as mumps, occurs at school, children with missing immunization information or declined immunization may be excluded from school to protect their health. In some cases, children may need to stay home for several weeks.

Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation. You can find additional resources on the Alberta Government website, immunizealberta.ca. Should you require additional information or assistance on this matter, please contact Margaret Hartman at (780) 523-3337.

Changes and Updates to the School Immunization Program
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