October 3, 2006
The mumps is spreading in the Charlottesville area as two more people have the disease.
The newest number of people showing signs of having the mumps is nine. A kindergarten student at Paul H. Cale Elementary School in Albemarle County is one of those people.
"To see a clustering of cases in one area is quite concerning," said Thomas Jefferson Health District Director Dr. Lilian Peake.
The concern centers around nine people now showing signs of having the mumps. Nine may be a small number, but it is a big deal when counting cases of mumps for just one area. Still, health officials say we are not dealing with an outbreak.
"We can't describe this as an outbreak until we have been able to either link the cases, or confirm them through laboratory testing, and we have not been able to do that yet," said Dr. Peake.
The breakdown of the nine people going through tests is five University of Virginia students, three adults somewhere in the community, and one kindergartner at Paul H. Cale Elementary School.
"We haven't found any links which connects these nine cases," added Dr. Peake.
One person who knows what the mumps patients are going through is Daisy Rojas. Her 7-year-old had the mumps last February.
"It just looked like he had a pumpkin on his shoulders, and it was so incredibly painful," said Daisy Rojas.
Rojas took her son to the family doctor five times before getting a diagnosis from another doctor. She says it should not have to take a second opinion when it comes to treating a child.
"Every mom knows when their kid is not feeling well with the running nose, sore throat, and headache," added Rojas.
There is one note of caution because every person varies when it comes to their body. It could take several weeks after the contagious period before any symptoms show.
The health department calls the probable cases of mumps probable because the scientific, or medical determination requires specific testing. Results from those take a couple weeks to determine if this is an outbreak from positives cases of the mumps.