Mumps outbreak affects New Castle County school kids

DOVER — Nine cases of mumps have been identified so far this month in students in New Castle County schools.

Seven cases have been confirmed, officials at the Delaware Division of Public Health said Wednesday. Two cases are probable.

The confirmed cases involve five individuals at William Penn High School and one individual at George Read Middle School, both within the Colonial School District. Another individual at St. Georges Technical High School, within the New Castle County Vo-Tech School District, was also identified.

DPH said it has been coordinating closely with the impacted schools and school districts since cases were first identified to provide guidance for limiting the spread of illness and to identify any other potential cases. The schools notified their communities of the positive cases and potential exposure to mumps, and provided recommended guidance to families.

Mumps is an acute viral infection spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat, according to DPH.

An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking, sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others and touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.