LEANDER, Texas — Students at a Leander Independent School District elementary school may have been exposed to mumps, the district said Wednesday.
In a letter sent to Winkley Elementary School families and staff, District Nurse Cristin Wicketts said students may have been exposed to a person with mumps sometime between Jan. 30 and Feb. 2. The Williamson County & Cities Health District later confirmed the infected person was a child.
Wicketts said that mumps symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low-grade fever, tiredness and/or muscle aches. However, many people do not exhibit any symptoms.
Mumps is spread through coughing and sneezing and sharing cups or utensils may also spread the virus. The time from being infected to developing symptoms can be as long as 25 days, but is typically 14 to 18 days, according to Wicketts. People with mumps are infectious three to five days before the onset of swollen or tender salivary glands, and infected people without symptoms may still be able to transmit the virus.
According to Matt Mitchell, the communications coordinator for Leander ISD, when a case of mumps is reported at a campus, the district nurse immediately contacts the county health department for guidance, which is required. He also said the district communicates to the school community any information on behalf of the health department. LISD works closely with campus administration, the campus nurse and LISD custodial services to take any further precautions in potentially affected areas.
While Wicketts said the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine (MMR) is the best protection against infection, vaccinated people may still become infected. Anyone diagnosed with mumps or suspected of having the virus should stay home for the five days after their salivary glands begin to appear swollen or tender, Wicketts said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 300 cases of the mumps in Texas in 2019 from Jan. 1 to Dec. 28.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, during the 2018-2019 school year, the percentage of students with a conscientious exemption was at 1.51% for LISD.
Wicketts said if you or your child experiences mumps symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider and inform them of your exposure to mumps. If you or your provider have any questions, call Williamson County & Cities Health Department at 512-260-4240.
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