Wednesday, 22 March 2017 11:09

Mumps confirmed in southwest Sask.

Written by  Cypress Health Region
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Positive lab results received from the National Medical Laboratory in Winnipeg have confirmed the presence of mumps within the Cypress Health Region.  The Region is currently reporting three confirmed cases and a fourth suspected case, affecting both youth and adult individuals.

Mumps activity has been reported across Canada, with a number of recently identified cases in Alberta and Manitoba including individuals within the hockey community.  The confirmed cases within Cypress Health also include individuals from the hockey community.

Mumps is an acute viral infection characterized by painful swelling of the glands on one or both sides of the jaw.  Mumps can also affect the reproductive organs sometimes with long term complications.Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, sore throat, vomiting, tiredness and loss of appetite.  Symptoms can appear 14-25 days following the original exposure and the virus can be unknowingly transmitted to others during that time.

The mumps virus can be easily spread by coughing, sneezing, or being in contact with another person’s saliva.  Transmission is more likely in crowded environments and with close contact such as classrooms, sporting events, bars, and dormitory living.

“Mumps can be quite a painful illness to go through and un-immunized cases have more severe symptoms than immunized individuals and likely with more complications,” commented Dr. Torr, Medical Health Officer for Cypress Health.  “It is key that individuals are up to date with their immunizations, most especially at this time those involved in sports, including players, coaches, volunteers, parents, and others.  A significant number of cases across the country, and locally, have been associated with sports gatherings.  We are encouraging children and adults to make sure they are up to date with their immunizations. Those born before 1970 are likely to have acquired natural immunity. Those born after 1970 should make sure that they are up to date with their immunizations, and if not, should contact public health to get up to date.”

Dr. Torr recommends a variety of measures that can help to reduce the spread of the mumps virus:
Vaccination is essential – infants and children receive protection as part of their MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) immunizations; teenagers and adults can contact their local public health office to check their immunization status and schedule an appointment for a booster if required.
Individuals suspected of having mumps or mump-like symptoms should stay away from childcare, school, post-secondary settings, sporting and social events, and workplaces for at least five days after onset of symptoms.
Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Avoid sharing eating utensils, water bottles, drinks, and lipsticks with others.
Call ahead before going to your physician, so they can prepare to see you without exposing others.

“In addition frequent hand hygiene, especially when at events or public places, not sharing eating and drinking utensils, and toys for daycares are all key measures that help reduce spread of infection. Of course, those ill with mumps symptoms should get checked by their health practitioner and stay at home whilst recovering,” Dr. Torr added.

For more information on the mumps virus and immunization status, please contact your local Public Health office, call Toll-Free at 1-866-786-2510, visit your family physician/nurse practitioner’s clinic or visit www.saskatchewan.caand search mumps.  The provincial HealthLine can also be contacted 24 hours per day by calling 811 for any non-urgent health questions.

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