BOZEMAN - Three cases of mumps are confirmed in children attending public schools, and health officials are investigating other possible cases.
Two students at Emily Dickinson Elementary and one at Chief Joseph Middle School are diagnosed with mumps, the health department says.
Gallatin City-County health staff are working to notify parents of other children who might be at risk for contracting mumps.
Health officials say the best protection against mumps is to get vaccinated, although the vaccine does not provide 100 percent immunity.
In rare cases, the viral illness can result in serious complications, such as encephalitis, meningitis, deafness or pancreatitis.
Read more from the release sent to parents:
This letter is to inform you that Gallatin City-County Health Department has identified two cases of mumps in students at Emily Dickinson Elementary School and a third case at Chief Joseph Middle School. The health department and the schools are investigating other possible cases.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department is following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for mumps follow-up in schools. Health department staff is working closely with Bozeman schools staff to identify students who are most susceptible of contracting mumps in order to take infection control measures to limit spread of the disease.
It is important for parents to know that most students 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 side 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.
Parents of children who may be most susceptible to mumps will be notified by staff from Gallatin City-County Health Department, who will 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.
Mumps is a viral illness which can cause swelling of the salivary glands along the neck, face or jaw, high fever, body aches and headaches. Less than 1% of mumps cases have serious complications such as encephalitis, meningitis, deafness or pancreatitis. There is no cure for mumps but supportive treatment such as temperature/fever control, fluids and rest will help.
If you think you or your child has symptoms consistent with mumps, please keep them home and call your healthcare provider even if your child has been vaccinated. While the vaccine is very effective, it does not provide 100% protection. Since there are other viruses that can cause swelling of the face or neck, it is important to get properly diagnosed. Testing for mumps will help manage the spread of this disease in our community.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department is working closely with the school staff to identify students in these schools who are not vaccinated against mumps. Two doses of mumps vaccine are required for attendance in Montana schools. Students and staff who have two doses of vaccine are considered protected.
The health department will be offering a walk-in immunization clinic from February 11th to February 14th from 9-11am and 1-4pm. The health department is located at 215 W. Mendenhall, Bozeman.
The health department and schools’ staff will be monitoring for additional cases, and may take additional actions to limit spread of the disease. These actions may include exclusion of students who have been exposed to the disease and who have religious or medical exemptions from the vaccine that protects against mumps. If excluded, students may be out of school for 25 days or more, depending on the course of the outbreak. If students receive one dose of the mumps vaccine they are not likely to be excluded from school due to reduced risk for infection, as outlined in CDC guidance.