AUBURN, Wash. ---The number of mumps cases in King County is on the rise. There are now 36 cases, mainly in Auburn and new adult cases in Kent, Federal Way and Pacific.
The outbreak has prompted the Auburn School District to take action.
The associate superintendent, Ryan Foster, says they’ve contacted families of nearly 300 students to tell them to get vaccinated or stay home for the next 25 days, per the King County Health Department’s request.
“This is not common and as far as I know the first time we’ve had a mumps outbreak like this,” said Foster. “I think the bigger question King County Health and the district are asking is why is it concentrated here.”
Until they know, they’re telling those with symptoms of mumps to stay home for at least five days after the mumps are gone and those who haven’t been vaccinated to stay home for 25 days, per the recommendation of the health department.
“Right now all those families have been contacted as of yesterday afternoon and have been informed they cannot return unless they’ve received one immunization MMR,” said Foster.
The health department in Auburn has been vaccinating kids the last two days but as the number of cases continues to grow, even among those who have been vaccinated, parents continue to wonder if sending their kids to school is safe.
“As a parent, of course, (I) have my concerns of sending her to school and at what point do you not send them for their own safety, and I work at a pre-school. Is she going to infect me, and I going to further infect people I work with? It’s kind of a scary situation,” said Kristen Songcuan, a mother of an Auburn High School sophomore.