McDonald County School district works to prevent spread of mumps

District cleaning schools, encouraging vaccines

On Monday, the McDonald County School District got word from the McDonald county health department that two students in the district have the mumps.

One from Noel Elementary, and one from Noel Primary School.

The school district and the health department say both the students were vaccinated.

” I was kind of surprised to realize too that you could get the mumps with the vaccination,” says Joy Hardridge with the McDonald County School District.

Elsie Mustain, Nursing Supervisor at the McDonald County Health Department explains MMP vaccines are around 90 percent effective – so the fact the students got the virus, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

“If they were in close contact with someone, or if they are living with somebody at the time when they have mumps, they’re more likely to get it even with a vaccine,” explains Mustain.

The district is working to clean the schools, washing things like water fountains and door handles, to keep the virus from spreading.

The health department is encouraging parents to do the same.

“It’s spread through coughing, sneezing, so, they need to make sure that their children are vaccinated, had both vaccines. And then they need to make sure that they’re children are washing their hands, not sharing things with other children,” says Mustain.

She also says if you think your child has the mumps, take them to the doctor to be tested, instead of taking them to school.

The school has confirmed that all students in both buildings have been vaccinated a least once. Now the district is working with the health department to put together a vaccine clinic.

“Give it to maybe even children who haven’t reached the 4 or 5 year old for the second vaccination. Maybe some of them get vaccinated a little earlier to be a little proactive in this situation,” says Hardridge.

Mustain says it’s been two weeks since the two students started showing symptoms. This is good news since it typically takes around two weeks for symptoms to start.

“Incubation period is actually 12 to 25 days. And we are actually almost at that point with these two cases,” explains Mustain. “So, at this point, the chances are less likely. We would start seeing more cases already, and we haven’t seen any.”

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, students have to have two MMR vaccines, unless they are exempt for religious or medical reasons.


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