NEW CASTLE, Del. (CBS) — State health officials in Delaware are investigating a mumps outbreak. Seven cases have been confirmed at three separate schools in New Castle County.
According to Delaware health regulations, anything above three cases is officially considered an outbreak.
Parents say they’re not panicking, but they are concerned.
“Actually saw a post on Facebook someone shared,” parent Heather Pavlekovich said.
In a world of social media, the word is traveling quickly.
Pavlekovich is from Newark but came to New Castle for her daughter’s softball practice.
The traveling team held practice in one of the several schools in New Castle County affected by a mumps outbreak.
“It’s a virus, a major virus. If kids aren’t vaccinated or not being vaccinated by their parents, then that’s even more concerning,” Pavlekovich said.
According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, as of Wednesday, there are five confirmed mumps cases at William Penn High School, one at George Read Middle School and one at St. Georges Technical High School.
Another parent says his daughter is vaccinated, but he still has some concerns.
“I think there is a lot of concerns about anything that’s public health. I know the past few years there have been parents who have the option of giving their kids vaccinations,” Don Nicholson said.
Students in Delaware schools are required to be vaccinated unless parents have medical or religious exemptions for their children.
“It should be mandatory for kids that go to school. I think any child that is enrolled in a kindergarten, public, private school should have to vaccinate their children,” Pavlekovich said.
DPH is advising any student or resident who has mumps symptoms or develops symptoms to stay home and contact a doctor.
“I think anytime you look at anything in the global environment that you have to have some concern about how things can spread,” Nicholson said.
The Colonial School District released a statement, reading in part: “School officials contacted the families of students who are at a heightened risk due to their immunization status and provided them with the guidance provided by DPH.”
Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, body aches, loss of appetite and swelling of parotid salivary glands.