A Mililani High School cafeteria worker has been confirmed as having the mumps virus, prompting state education officials to provide alternative lunches for three area schools, officials said today.
State Department of Education officials said the alternative lunches were provided today to students at Mililani High, Mililani Uka Elementary and Mililani Waena Elementary as a safety precaution after the virus confirmation from the state Department of Health.
“All of our food service workers follow proper health and safety procedures when preparing food and the decision to withdraw today’s lunches was made in an abundance of caution for our students’ health,” said Complex Area Superintendent Bob Davis. “All students were provided alternate lunches and our cafeteria facilities will be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly as they are each day.”
Mililani High’s cafeteria provides about 2,500 school lunches daily for 1,000 students at the high school and 750 students at each of the two elementary schools, state officials said.
The lunches prepared today by the cafeteria were withdrawn as precaution before lunch periods began after the school received confirmation of the mumps case, they said, adding that the alternate lunches were purchased from Costco.
The state outbreak of mumps has reached 362 cases so far in 2017, far outpacing the previous annual high of 42 cases in 2001, according to state health data that reach back to 1990.
Mumps is highly contagious and is spread through coughing, sneezing, sharing cups and utensils. Hawaii residents who are not already immune to the disease should have two doses of the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella. People born before 1957 tend to be immune since the disease used to be so prevalent. The recommendation for a second MMR dose came in 1998, so many adults may not have had it.
In Hawaii nearly all schoolchildren receive both doses of the MMR vaccine before being admitted on campus.
For more information: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease_listing/mumps.