HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – Hundreds of Henrico County students may have been exposed to mumps, school officials confirmed in a letter to Shady Grove Elementary School parents Tuesday.
In the letter, school officials informed parents that a student at the school was recently diagnosed with mumps.
“We wanted to inform our families as it is possible that other children were exposed,” the letter continued.
This comes just weeks after students at Godwin High School, Freeman High School and Tuckahoe Middle School were exposed to the disease.
Mumps is an acute viral disease that spreads through coughing, sneezing, or saliva.
“To help control the spread of mumps within the community, please refrain from sharing items that come in contact with saliva, such as drink bottles, food, and lip balms,” Henrico epidemiologist Laura Young said earlier this month. “Persons with mumps may develop headache, body aches, fever and swollen and tender glands in the jaw (parotitis). People who become infected with mumps may not show symptoms until 12 to 25 days after exposure, and they are typically infectious to others a few days prior to developing symptoms.”
Health officials said if a parent believes their child has symptoms of mumps, they should see their health care provider and let them know that there was a suspected cases of mumps identified recently in their child’s school.
“We recommend that all individuals review their immunization status to ensure that they are up-to-date and discuss the need for vaccination with their healthcare provider,” said Young. “Mumps can be prevented with MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine.”
If parents have any questions, school officials urge them to contact their child’s provider or the Henrico Health Department at 804-501-5216.