Mumps cases arise at Fremd


Photo Courtesy of the Palatine Patch

Hannah Lin, Staff Writer

Following four cases of epidemic parotitis, or mumps, that have been diagnosed among the students at Fremd since January, District 211 is reminding everyone to maintain healthy habits and help control the spread of the disease.

Freshman Junie Baik thinks the school is taking a proactive step in notifying students about the mumps.

“It’s good that the school is warning us about this so that we know what to do if we get the disease,” Baik said. “A lot of us probably wouldn’t know about this otherwise.”

Mumps is a virus spread by respiratory secretions. Its symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Because mumps affects the salivary glands, the most noticeable symptoms are the swelling of the cheeks and jaw.

If a student is infected by mumps, he or she should seek medical attention for treatment. The disease must be reported to the Cook County Health Department at 708-836-8699, and that student must also contact the school nurse as soon as possible. Infected persons are to stay at home for at least five days after the first symptoms begin.

Senior Mark Guo thinks not attending school for the sake of recovery is much more beneficial than putting other students at risk for mumps by continuing to go to school.

“I think the effect will be greater if a person stays at home, because that person would risk spreading the disease to other people,” Guo said. “So from the point of view of a society, it is better for someone to stay at home and recuperate than to cause everyone to get sick from mumps.”

Mumps is now considered a rare disease, since most people are immunized from it and therefore have mild or no symptoms if infected with it at all. Although there is no specific treatment for mumps, the mumps vaccine is the best way to prevent infection. Healthy habits, such as hand-washing and disinfecting frequently-used objects and surfaces, can also stop the spread of mumps.

Nurse Lori Papciak is not concerned about the disease spreading here at Fremd, but encourages students and faculty to continue healthy behavior.

“As long as people follow proper hygiene, that’s the main thing that’s going to prevent the mumps from going from person to person,” Papciak said. “At a school, there’s usually not prolonged contact between students, so the important thing is that people are alerted and seek medical help right away so that we don’t spread it.”