Health Department Investigates Possible Case Of Mumps At Nichols Hills Enterprise Elementary

Tuesday, December 17th 2019, 6:41 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois

The Oklahoma City County Health Department is investigating whether a student at Nichols Hills Enterprise Elementary has the mumps.

Oklahoma City Public Schools district officials said a student had mumps Monday evening, but said Tuesday the case was unconfirmed.

In a second letter sent to parents, school officials said, “We are working with the Oklahoma City County Health Department to monitor this situation. As of now, we do not have any evidence supporting the school’s exposure to mumps.”

The Oklahoma City County Health Department is investigating the case.

“The tough thing about mumps and its infectivity is a lot of people are infectious before they even start to show symptoms,” Oklahoma City County Health Department Emergency Preparedness Epidemiologist Hieremila Haile said.

In their first letter to parents Monday, Nichols Hills Enterprise Elementary officials asked parents to keep any children with symptoms home from school.

According to the health department, symptoms of mumps can include a fever, fatigue, and eventually swelling in the neck.

Haile said the best prevention starts with the MMR vaccine.

In Oklahoma, all students are required to get the MMR vaccine before enrolling in school.

However, there is an exemption allowed for religious, personal and health reasons.

Lately, fewer people are using the exemption, according to the health department.

“Within actually the past year alone we saw an increase in the MMR vaccine to close to 95%, which is a remarkable increase since the last year,” Haile said.

Statewide, mumps cases have gone down significantly since 2016.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, in 2016 there were 500 mumps cases across the state.

As of November this year, there have only been 8 cases.

Vaccines are available through the health department.