Seymour Community Schools Corp. officials say there is a possibility of a case of mumps in one of its elementary schools.
Superintendent Rob Hooker said Wednesday afternoon that the school system is waiting to get confirmation from a physician that the symptoms are in fact the mumps before making an official announcement.
He said Seymour-Redding Elementary School is where the case is and that he believes it is an employee, not a student, who is showing symptoms.
The mumps is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus, that most people are vaccinated against as a child, along with the measles and rubella. The disease is no longer very common in the United States but outbreaks do still occur.
To be on the safe side, the school has sent all pregnant women, including staff and visitors, home, Hooker said. Students and staff who are immunized or who have had the mumps in most cases are protected from contracting the disease.
School nurse Sherry Reinhart is working with the Jackson County Health Department and will be keeping staff and families informed on the situation, he added.
“This isn’t something most of us have ever dealt with,” Hooker said.
Most common symptoms of the mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is spread like a cold through saliva or mucus from an infected person’s mouth, nose or throat, by coughing or sneezing, sharing items such as cups or eating utensils, with others or touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by another.
Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease, according to the CDC.
Most people with mumps recover completely with no major problems in a few weeks. Complications from the mumps are more widely seen in adults and include encephalitis, meningitis and deafness.