Mumps cases in Federal Way increases to 4

A mumps outbreak continues to take its toll in King County this winter, with four cases total reported in Federal Way.

According to the Public Health Department of Seattle & King County, the total number of mumps cases has grown to 108 in the county, after confirming a student in Seattle has the illness.

In King County, according to public health officials, 35 mumps cases are confirmed and 73 cases are probable. Auburn was hit hardest by the outbreak, with 87 probable or confirmed cases; while Kent has five; Pacific, three; Seattle and Covington, two; and Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Renton and Des Moines with one. Of the school-aged children diagnosed, the Federal Way school district has one child with mumps, while Kent has one and Auburn has the remainder.

Health officials say 64 percent of the people with probable or confirmed cases of mumps are current on the measles, mumps rubella vaccine. Earlier this month, James Apa, communications director for Public Health Department of Seattle & King County, said this year has seen a spike in mumps cases in the county. Apa said the county may see a few cases every year, but jumps have happened in the past. He said in 2006, 33 cases of mumps were diagnosed, with 27 in 2007.

Apa said measles, mumps rubella vaccinations are common, especially among children, but that does not mean people cannot still catch the illness.

“The important message for parents and adults is if you aren’t already vaccinated, or not fully vaccinated, this is a good time to do it,” Apa said earlier this month.

He said vaccinated people who do catch mumps suffer from milder cases and rarely need to be hospitalized.

According to the Public Health Department of Seattle & King County website, of the Federal Way public and schools in 2015-16, Sequoia Middle School has 50 to 70 percent of students reported vaccinated, while the rest fall in the 71 to 90 percent or 91 percent and higher categories. Overcomer Academy, a private school, fell in the 50 percent and under vaccinated range. Slavic Gospel Church Academy did not report its vaccinations. For vaccination rates in all King County schools, go to https://data.kingcounty.gov/Health/SY-2015-16-K-12-Immunization-Coverage/czbk-eem5.

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Members of GFWC Sokico Women’s Club held a Bunco fundraiser and membership event July 21 Pantera Lago Clubhouse in Kent to raise money for a Federal Way K-9 cop. Sokico members provided food, beverages, prizes and a GFWC program with visual poster boards for 25 guests - plus special guest and speaker Officer Kyle Buchanan of the Federal Way Police Department and his K-9 officer Kaiser. Kaiser was the hit of the event with his favorite toy ball on a leather tether, as he paced around the room for all to pet and play. Officer Buchanan displayed some training techniques with Kaiser and answered many questions from the guests. The funds raised will purchase a new Storm Patrol swat vest for the newest K-9 officer on the Federal Way Police Department, Vader, who recently turned 2 years old and is ready to be fitted for his new vest. To date, the club has raised $1,200 toward the purchase of Vader’s vest. Donations are welcome. Contact Linda Butcher at 253-927-6636 or ibslinda@comcast.net.
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