CEDAR HILL, TX – An outbreak of mumps on the Cedar Hill High School campus has set in motion a series of preventative measures in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease. Students and faculty are being required to receive immunization shots if they cannot provide proof of having had them already. In the past, only students were required to provide proof of immunization, but this requirement was extended to staff when the disease was contracted by two teachers.
On February 9, 2017, the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) informed Cedar Hill High School that three students had contracted the mumps. Cedar Hill High School immediately sent out an email and phone message to all parents informing them of the situation, ordered the cleaning staff to begin disinfecting the campus and posted a health advisory on their web site.
On February 20, 2017, Cedar Hill High School principal Michael McDonald send out an email informing staff that DCHHS had confirmed at least six students and two teachers from the school had contracted the mumps. The DCHHS recommended that shot records should be required from staff members as well as students. All were required to show that they had received the MMR vaccine (Mumps, Measles and Rubella) by the February 24th, or not be allowed to return to campus. DCHHS went to the CHHS campus to administer vaccinations to all who needed them on Friday, February 24th.
“If you choose not to get vaccinated, you will be required to stay home for at least 26 days from the onset of the last case. DCHHS and the local health authority for the city of Cedar Hill have both recommended this length of time to protect you during the incubation period of the disease,” said McDonald.
CHISD’s Protocol on Fever asks that parents keep their students home if they have a temperature of 99.8 or higher, and is suffering from one or more of the following: cold/flu-like symptoms, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, swollen glands or rash.
“To prevent the spread of illness, do not send them to school. Your child must be fever-free for at least 24 or more hours before they may return. Students who require fever reducing medicine should be kept home. If your child has a fever or any of the symptoms listed above for more than 48 hours, seek medical attention immediately.”
The district advises that to prevent your child from becoming ill or spreading disease, to do the following:
* Dress them properly for the weather.
* Make sure they have plenty of fluids, rest and proper nutrition.
* Teach them to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
* Encourage frequent hand washing with soap and water. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be substituted when soap and water are not available.
There has been a significant increase in the number of mumps cases in the United States and Canada, causing the CDC to revaluate the recommended number of MMR vacinations. It is possible it will go from two to three.
According to DCHHS, mumps is a highly contagious viral disease that is spread by droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms include fever, headache, swelling of the salivary glands, fatigue muscle aches and loss of appetite. With your help, we can reduce illnesses on our campuses.
To learn more about the disease and to find information about where to get vaccinated, visit the following websites:
Dallas County Health and Human Services – dallascounty.org/hhs
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – cdc.gov