HEBER CITY, Utah — A family is warning others after their son fell ill with the mumps virus, despite being up to date on his immunizations.
“I would consider this the worst sickness I’ve had,” said 11-year-old Finn Price.
The fifth grader was sick last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“My jaw really, really hurt,” Finn said. “Chewing a lot of harder, crunchy foods was out of the question. The fever didn’t help at all.”
At first, doctors didn’t diagnose Finn with mumps. When a test returned a positive result, he and his parents were shocked.
“C’mon, he can’t have the mumps,” said Finn’s mom, Bethe Price, when asked about her reaction to the test result.
She wants families to know the mumps vaccine isn’t 100% effective.
“Unfortunately, vaccines like everything else in this world, is not a guarantee,” said Dr. Mary Tipton, a pediatrician at Copper View Medical Center.
Tipton emphasizes the importance of vaccinations in preventing large outbreaks of dangerous diseases.
Finn’s parents plan to make sure he gets any needed boosters.
“I don’t see the point in not having immunizations,” Kyle Price, Finn’s father, said.
“Definitely get your kids immunized. We’ll keep doing that, for sure,” said Bethe Price.
The Wasatch County Health Department released a statement, warning families with children at Old Mill Elementary of possible exposure.
The virus has an incubation period of up to 18 days, so there is a chance people may have contracted it and not yet be aware.
According to the Wasatch County Health Department’s statement, symptoms include pain in the cheek or jaw, fever, difficulty eating, tiredness and headache.
WASATCH COUNTY, Utah – Mumps cases in Utah are nearly at quintuple the yearly average after two more instances of the virus were announced Wednesday.
Two more instances of the mumps virus came to light Wednesday with a confirmed case in Utah County and a suspected case in Wasatch County.
The first was a confirmed case impacting an un-vaccinated adult in Utah County and the Utah County Health Department said they believe they contracted it from someone who was infected, they are working to notify anyone they may have been in contact with during their infectious period. The incubation period lasts between 16-18 days, infected persons can be contagious starting two days prior to showing symptoms and up until five days after.
The second, a suspected case out of Wasatch County, impacting a student at Old Mill Elementary who was fully immunized.
The boy’s mother sent a statement to FOX 13 saying in part, “I felt like I needed to let out community know because 1) if you see the same symptoms in you or your kids, that it’s possible it could be mumps and 2) even if you are vaccinated it could be mumps.”
The vaccine is not 100% effective. According to the health department, it is 78% effective if you’ve had one dose and 88% effective if you’ve had two doses.
The Wasatch and Utah County Health Departments do not believe these cases are related and do not believe anyone else was infected.
According to the Utah Department of Health, the state typically sees two-to-three mumps cases per year. The announcement Wednesday brings the total number of confirmed cases for 2019 to 14, not including the suspected case.
“Sometimes we get a false sense of security thinking, ‘Oh we don’t get mumps or measles or rubella or other infections like that anymore,’” said Lisa Guerra, an epidemiologist with the Utah County Health Department. “We still can get these cases and it’s important to receive your immunizations.”
Mumps is an infectious disease and is not treatable. Symptoms can include swelling of the periodic glands, which is the area right below and in front of the ear, as well as pain and fever.
The health department said in serious cases it can cause men to become sterile and it can also cause deafness.
If you believe you are showing symptoms of mumps, the health department asks that you call your healthcare provider and stay home.
The health department said the vaccination is still the best method of prevention. For more information on the mumps vaccination, contact the Utah Immunization Hotline at 1-800-257-0659.
WASATCH COUNTY, Utah – As we head into the summer season, the Wasatch County Fire District is urging residents to properly prepare their properties to prevent propane related incidents that could potentially spark fires.
In a Heber City senior center, the Wasatch County Fire District pushed a message of preparedness to a group of concerned Wasatch County residents.
The group was still reeling in the wake of two major propane-related cabin explosions that occurred earlier this winter.
“There was so much devastation it was hard to do an investigation to determine a cause,” said Janet Carson with the Wasatch County Fire District. “It really caused a lot of fear.”
The explosions happened just miles from each other in the Timber Lakes area of Wasatch County, where homes are high off of the valley floor and heated by propane.
The devastation left behind rubble and not much else.
“We just want to reassure people that propane is a safe way to heat your home, but there’s things they need to do to make it safe,” said Carson.
Now, with our summer season in our midst, concerns are high.
“These cabins, if they would have exploded in the summertime, it would have been catastrophic to the Timber Lakes subdivision,” Carson said.
Fire officials showed a simulation, giving residents an idea as to how quickly a fire can spread in warmer conditions – an acre burned in just five minutes. Throw in some wind gusts, and within an hour 500 acres could be burned.
“We got lots of snow, we’ve had lots of rain, which is great, but that means lots of grass; by the end of August that’s going to be fuel for a wild-land fire which could be very dangerous,” Carson said.
The Fire District said preparation is key to prevention.
“If they [residents] make sure to not have their trees more than ten feet from a home, cleared all the debris away, if they’ve marked their propane tank and if they have it protected, it’s just going to make it that much easier for us to fight a fire,” Carson said as she listed the steps residents should take to prepare their properties.
You can learn more about propane safety and fire prevention on the Wasatch County Fire District website.