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Three Belgrade Students Diagnosed With Mumps

CDC/ Judy Schmidt
Health officials say the mumps vaccine is 88% effective against the viral disease.

Three students in Belgrade middle and high schools have been diagnosed with the mumps.

Matt Kelley with the Gallatin City-County Health Department says that of the three students diagnosed, one had been vaccinated. He says that about 15 to 20 students who haven’t been vaccinated are being asked to stay home or get the vaccine.

"There can be serious ramifications, medical ramifications to the mumps, and that’s why we’re taking this seriously," he said.

Mumps is a viral disease that causes swelling in the cheeks and jaw area. In rare cases, it can cause meningitis and deafness. It’s spread by saliva and mucus contact.

All Montana students are required to have the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination in order to enroll in public school but can opt out of them because of religious or other reasons.

Vaccinations have an 88 percent chance of preventing mumps.

Kelley said that although Montana hasn’t had many mumps cases in recent years, there is a risk it may spread beyond the Gallatin Valley.

"I mean, it is a contagious disease," he said. "It doesn’t take too much for it to spread."

Kelley said the best thing to do to prevent mumps is to get vaccinated. If other children have any contact with Belgrade students, be sure to check for mumps symptoms like jaw swelling. The State Health Department said that there were only three cases of mumps statewide between 2008 and 2014.

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