7th case of mumps confirmed in Gallatin County


    The seventh case of mumps this year in Montana was confirmed Monday by the Gallatin County Health Department.

    Gallatin County is the only county where the disease has been detected in 2018.

    Just two years ago, an outbreak was confirmed in Belgrade. There were 20 confirmed cases.

    The latest mumps case was detected in a student at Morning Star Elementary in Bozeman, and officials say four more students are showing symptoms.

    The mumps vaccine is required for all Montana public school students, with an exception.

    Ninety-three percent of kindergarten students in the state have the vaccination, while 95 percent of teenage students got the shot, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Bozeman Public Schools Superintendent Rob Watson said students may only be exempt if they turn in a religious or medical waiver.

    "We estimate that 3 to 4 percent of our students have a waiver," Watson said. "Our responsibility is to work really closely with the health department."

    "The bottom line of what we're trying to do is separate kids who are ill from kids who are well," said Gallatin County Health Department officer Matt Kelley. "Parents should be aware, but they shouldn't be overly worried. Get your shot, that's the No. 1 thing you can do."

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