The Trenton Independent School District reported one case of mumps Tuesday, possibly affecting both the district’s middle school and high school.
The school district circulated a letter, as well as a social media post, to parents and students warning them of possible exposure to the virus and to be vigilant of symptoms. District officials were alerted to the potential infection by the parent of the affected child.
“Exposure is contained mostly to the middle school and high school,” the letter says. “Please be aware your child may have been exposed to this virus on or about January 19, 2017.”
Mumps is a contagious disease brought on by a virus and is known to cause a puffing of the cheeks as well as swelling of the jaw. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands. Symptoms typically present between 12 and 25 days after infection and the disease is spread through coughing, sneezing, sharing drinks and contact with salivary and respiratory body fluids.
Trenton Independent School District Superintendent Rick Foreman said there are 350 students between the middle school and high school, but said he’s hopeful that the reported case will be the only that arises. Foreman said mumps is not frequently seen in schools today.
“It’s not very common,” said Foreman. “You know, we take vaccines for it from the time we’re little and you just don’t see it very often any more.”
Foreman cautioned parents and guardians to be observant of their children’s symptoms, which can often mimic those of another seasonal virus.
“It’s a lot like flu symptoms — fever, headache and all that. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if it s the flu, so pay special attention to the swollen saliva glands,” Foreman said.
Trenton ISD’s superintendent said he has no reason to believe that other students are infected with mumps and said that the schools move ahead with its only option to combat the infection: sterilization
“We’re just going to continue to clean and sterilize surfaces, otherwise there’s not much else we can do about it,” Foreman said. “We hope this is an isolated incident, but if it’s not, we’ll deal with it as it comes.”