A probable case of mumps in a New Paltz High School student was confirmed today, Thursday, November 17 by schools superintendent Maria Rice. The diagnosis has yet to be confirmed, but parents of students at all four schools are being notified of the situation by letter.
The news comes on the heels of SUNY New Paltz confirming 16 cases of mumps on the college campus as of yesterday, affecting 15 students and an athletics department staff member. This is the first reported (probable) case of a student in the New Paltz Central School District.
The affected student was immunized, said Rice.
“We don’t have a mumps outbreak,” she added. “We have one probable case of a high school student with mumps. But because he interacted with students at the middle school and at Duzine as well as at the high school, there’s a possibility of exposure.”
Mumps is spread by direct contact with the saliva of an infected person, through coughing, sneezing, sharing a drinking glass or kissing. The incubation period for mumps is from 16-18 days, but can go up to 25.
“We were notified of this probable case yesterday,” Rice said. “We immediately contacted Dr. Carol Smith at the Ulster County Department of Health, and she conferenced our team into a conversation with not only her experts but with state experts. We talked through exactly what it is we know and what we need to do and in what stages. She and I put together the information that we put into a robo-call that parents received, and she is helping us develop the protocol that we’re using. She did explain that it’s not considered an outbreak unless you have three confirmed cases. And we don’t even have one confirmed case yet.”
Mumps is caused by a respiratory virus. Symptoms include painful swelling of the salivary glands near the ears and under the jaw, which can occur on one or both sides of the face. The swelling may be associated with other non-specific symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and decreased appetite.