Mumps suspected at Barrington, Arlington Heights schools

BARRINGTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Suburban school officials have asked students and parents to look out for signs of mumps after several possible cases at schools in Barrington and Arlington Heights.

A student at South Middle School in Arlington Heights was recently diagnosed with a possible case of mumps.

It is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause fever, body aches, loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, mumps is no longer very common in the U.S., but people can pick it up in crowded environments.

Late Friday, school officials at South Middle School notified parents of the possible case of mumps. The school will undergo an in-depth cleaning.

Meanwhile, some parents are trying not to worry.

"I'm not worried yet. My daughter is vaccinated and I have confidence the school will let us know when we need to know it," said parent Kerri Topps.

"Kids have just been talking about like that it's contagious and what it is because I don't think most people knew what it was before," said student Morgan Topps.

This possible case of mumps here in Arlington Heights comes after Lake County health officials confirmed two cases of mumps at Barrington High School within this past week.

Several suspected cases of mumps have also been reported at Prairie and Station Middle Schools in Barrington as well.

School officials in Arlington Heights said they will contact parents if any new cases are reported or confirmed.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Symptoms include swollen glands along the jawline and in front of the ear. Other symptoms include headache, low-grade fever, fatigue and loss of appetite. Mumps is spread through coughing, sneezing and other contact with saliva.

After being exposed to the virus it can take two to three weeks for symptoms to arise and a person can be contagious a couple days before those symptoms develop.
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