Mumps case confirmed at Barrington High School

BARRINGTON, Ill. (WLS) -- A case of mumps has been confirmed at Barrington High School, officials said Wednesday.

There was stepped-up cleaning at the school Wednesday night and school officials are bracing for more cases.

"We're working with our staff and asked them to keep a close eye out on students in their classes to see if they're presenting any symptoms," said Principal Stephen McWilliams.

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, tiredness and loss of appetite.

McWilliams said it is unclear how the student contracted mumps. It is highly contagious and spread through coughing, sneezing and other contact with saliva.

"The school has taken a very proactive approach, working with us on preventing the spread of the disease," said Dr. Victor Plotkin, epidemiologist.

Though the best defense against mumps is the vaccine it's not 100 percent effective, and in recent years the virus has made a comeback, especially on college campuses.

The National Hockey League is currently trying to contain its second mumps outbreak in the last three seasons, though the illness has not impacted the Blackhawks.

"It's been pretty good here so, so far it's not here so it's a good thing," said Blackhawks right winger Marian Hossa.

In the meantime Barrington High School is passing on a message to students and parents.

"Wash your hands. Cover your cough. If you're not feeling well, stay home," McWilliams said.

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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