Northwest Suburbs Mumps Cases On Verge Of An Outbreak

CHICAGO (CBS) — Health officials in the northwest suburbs continue to monitor suspected cases of mumps in several schools.

It is, however, very important to clarify that at this point, it is not an outbreak. Only two cases have been confirmed at Barrington High School. The Health Department considers an outbreak of mumps to be at least three confirmed cases.

“I feel very confident sending my children back to school,” said a Barrington parent, Deanna Baker.

Instead of being concerned, parents like Baker are staying informed about the cluster of mumps cases reported in Barrington schools.

“As a community, we’re talking, we’re staying aware and and that does bring a lot of comfort to us all,” Baker added.

As of last check, Lake County Health Department officials confirmed two cases of mumps at Barrington High School and 18 suspected cases. Prairie and Station Middle Schools reported nine suspected cases.

“It was a shock, I guess, because it’s not something you hear about very much these day. But the communication’s been really constant,” said another parent, Tom Prentiss.

Last week, Barrington School District 220 sent out a letter to parents, students and staff.

“We’ve communicated with parents, students and staff daily,” said Morgan Delack, Director Of Communications at Barrington 220 School District.

And on Friday, school officials addressed the issue to the press to assure the community that the issue is under control.

“We spoke with our cleaning crews earlier this week and just asked them to reemphasize — making sure that we are disinfecting high-touch surfaces; door knobs, desk tops, hard surfaces,” said Barrington High School Principal Steve McWilliams.

And while they plan to continue to monitor the situation, it’s important for students and staff to keep and eye out as well.

“If you feel like you have signs and symptoms, please stay home, please call your doctor,” McWilliams noted.

There is also one suspected case of the mumps at South Middle School in Arlington Heights. Still, it has not been declared an outbreak yet. If it does get to that point, local and state health department officials will determine what the next step will be.

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