In a follow-up to a report last week, an additional three cases of mumps have been confirmed and reported in Gallatin County, MT, according to local health officials. This brings the number of cases to seven, all associated with Belgrade Public Schools.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department is working closely with Belgrade schools, as well as health care providers and partners at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, to identify students most at risk for contracting mumps and to implement infection control measures recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
It is important for parents to know that most students in Belgrade schools have significant protection against mumps through immunizations required by Montana state law and recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While mumps does have some serious but rare potential health effects, the risk of these outcomes is significantly reduced by the vaccine and infection control precautions being pursued by the health department and the schools.
“These new cases are not unexpected,” said Matt Kelley, Health Officer with Gallatin City-County Health Department. “In fact, we are now in the period when those exposed to the initial cases of the disease would begin to show symptoms.”
Two new mumps cases were reported to the health department over the past 5 days. One person attends Belgrade Middle School. A second person attends Saddle Peak Elementary School, but was not in school while the disease was contagious. Another case – also a middle school student who had extended close contact to a confirmed case – was classified as a case after becoming symptomatic.
“It’s important for people to understand that mumps can be a serious disease, but vaccines and infection control measures have made the most serious side effects exceedingly rare.”
The Gallatin City-County Health Department is working to identify students in settings where cases of mumps have been identified and will be contacting those parents to provide information and health care guidance. In most cases, students who are most susceptible to mumps are those who have not been vaccinated against the disease.