HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A student at a Henrico County elementary school was recently diagnosed with mumps.
As a result, parents and students at Shady Grove Elementary School are being cautioned that other students may have also been exposed to the ailment.
“My children have been in public schools for 12 years. We’ve never gotten a letter like this, so there’s a lot of concern,” says Alyssa Chalifoux. Her son Jack is a first grader at Shady Grove.
According to a release issued by Henrico County Public Schools to parents and staff, the virus is spread through direct person-to-person contact with respiratory droplets spread by coughing and sneezing or through contact with an ill person’s saliva.
As a precaution, the school system asks that parents limit the sharing of items that come in contact with saliva, including items like drink bottles, food and lip balms.
The symptoms of mumps include headache, body aches, fever and swollen and tender glands in the jaw. People typically show symptoms 12-25 days after exposure and are typically infectious to others for a few days prior to developing symptoms.
The school system asked that parents take their children to the doctor if they witness any of the above symptoms and tell the doctor to test for mumps.
But worried parents like Chalifoux want more answers. “”I think the vaccine’s been around for 50 years. I think it came around for a reason and cases are popping up in Henrico, Granted there’s only four, but when will it stop,” she wonders, “What is the county going to do to stop it within the schools and are they going to clean the schools? How are they going to keep my child safe who has been vaccinated?”
The school recommends that all individuals in contact with students at the school review their immunization status to ensure that they are up-to-date. MMR vaccines prevent most, but not all cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease.
Parents were also encouraged to contact their health provider or the Henrico County Health Department at 804-501-5216 with any questions or concerns.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.