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Person with suspected mumps case at Anchorage middle school tests negative

Jan. 31—A person at an Anchorage middle school who was tested earlier this month for a suspected case of mumps has tested negative for the illness, according to the school district.

Concern around the suspected case had caused the school to cancel extracurricular activities for a day, and to disinfect its facility and buses as a precaution.

"I am happy to share that the member of our Romig Middle School community who recently tested for a suspected case of mumps has tested negative," principal Carrie Sumner wrote in an email to parents Tuesday.

The school and the district have not released details about the suspected case, including whether it involved a student or staff member.

Sumner wrote that there were no confirmed cases of mumps in the community, though "Anchorage School District Health Services shared there is an overall uptick in viral illnesses in the Anchorage area including influenza and RSV. Please continue to take important steps in preventing spreading illness by staying home when you are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and frequent hand washing."

Mumps is vaccine-preventable and relatively uncommon in Alaska and in the U.S. In 2023, just one case was reported in the state, and just 436 cases were reported nationwide, though those numbers have been steadily increasing nationwide over the last several years, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No cases have been reported to the state health department so far this year.