Local doctor gives advice on avoiding mumps

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Many parents hope their children do not come in contact with the mumps virus as two confirmed cases have been reported in the Paragould School District.

School administrators told Region 8 News they are taking extra precautions in cleaning the schools on Monday.

However, that does not stop the mother of a student in the Paragould School District from being afraid her son could come in contact with the vaccine-preventable illness.

"I honestly, I mean I don't think it's fair that he's exposed to that because I vaccinate my child for a reason," Lillian Finley said. "And we have vaccinations for a reason, and I really don't think it's fair that he be exposed to that."

Region 8 News spoke with Dr. Justin Yancey at St. Bernards Medical Center on Saturday.

According to Yancey, the highly contagious virus often resembles the flu in the first 48 hours.

He said some of the symptoms include fever, body aches, and about two days of swelling in the salivary glands.

"Treatment is just symptomatic for the most part, and isolation," Yancey said. "You're contagious for up to 28 days after you get it and you're usually contagious for I think 72 hours, maybe a little bit more, prior to you having any symptoms."

Yancey said anyone who suspects they may have the mumps should follow certain steps to make sure they are exposed to the least amount of people as possible.

"You need to call your doctor, don't go to the doctor or go to the ER because you're exposing other people when you go," he said. "Call so that they know you're coming and they can be prepared to make sure that you're isolated away from other patients."

Yancey said getting the MMR vaccine significantly lowers the chance of getting the mumps.

He said no matter a person's age, it is a wise decision to get the MMR vaccine because mumps can cause permanent hearing loss or even cost someone their life.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines, a student can return to school five days after swelling is found in the glands of their jaws or ears.

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