Officials confirm 5 mumps cases at Ridley High School

Tim Jimenez
October 18, 2019 - 8:52 am

UPDATED: 11:37 a.m.

FOLSOM, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — There's a mumps outbreak at Ridley High School in Delaware County, where officials confirm that five people have gotten sick.

Ridley School District Superintendent Lee Ann Wentzel says one student, a student-teacher, and three staffers at the high school came down with the mumps, likely exposed to the virus in recent weeks.

In response, the school wants students and their families to keep an eye out for symptoms like swollen glands in front of and behind the ear, along with headache, earache, fever, fatigue and a loss of appetite.

County medical advisor Dr. George Avetian says the virus can spread quickly. 

This was seen last spring in the Philadelphia region, when more than 170 people got sick, most of them Temple students.

"It's typically most contagious five days after the onset of symptoms," Avetian said. "Isolation is really the recommended treatment once someone has mumps. We don't want them to expose others."

Even though the odds are low, he says, it's still possible to get the mumps even if you're up to date with your shots. 

"Vaccines are recommended at 12-15 months of age and 4-6 years of age. And typically, after two vaccines, the risk is reduced by approximately 88 percent," he said.

The district says nearly all of the school's 1,800 students are vaccinated. There are a few students who can’t get the shots because of health reasons, and officials say they’re being accomodated and are learning elsewhere for now until everything is clear.