There has been an alarming outbreak of mumps in Manitoba.
176 cases have been confirmed since Sep. 1, 2016 and that’s compared to the 4 to 8 cases the province usually sees in a year alone.
Manitoba Health says initially the majority of cases were university students between 18 to 29 years old, living in Winnipeg, or those involved in sports. However, mumps cases are now being seen in all ages and throughout Manitoba.
“I think it’s the combination of the vaccine that’s given when you are a child and now it’s starting to wane, and then also that combination of people that haven’t necessarily been fully vaccinated, and obviously those who haven’t been vaccinated at all,” said Dr. Richard Rusk, a Medical Officer of Health in Manitoba.
Vaccine Eligibility Criteria
- All children 12 months of age or older are eligible to receive 2 doses of MMRV vaccine. Doses are administered at 12 months and 4-6 years of age.
- Those born during or after 1985 are eligible for 2 doses of MMR vaccine;
- Those born between 1970 and 1984 who have not received a vaccine containing measles or mumps or have not had natural measles or mumps infection are eligible for one dose of MMR vaccine;
- Non-immune health care workers, regardless of age, are eligible for 2 doses of MMR vaccine; and,
- Non-immune students born before 1970 are eligible for 1 dose; students born in 1970 or later are eligible for 2 doses of MMR vaccine.
Manitoba Health says mumps is spread by direct contact with the saliva of an infected person, such as coughing, sneezing, sharing drinks or kissing.
Hockey players and others involved in sports are especially at risk since sharing water bottles is quite common.
Seven players and one trainer with the Vancouver Canucks have been quarantined. The Minnesota Wild, who are in Winnipeg taking on the Jets Tuesday night, have confirmed two of their players have contracted the highly contagious virus.
“We run a standard protocol kind of all year with water bottles and we have room sanitization that happens daily here,” said Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice. “We do the flu shots and the mumps shots and the mumps boosters over the last couple of years.”
Symptoms of the mumps often starts with cold-like symptoms, including: swollen and tender glands at the jaw line, fever, and headache and muscle aches.
Manitoba Health recommends people should wash their hands often, avoid sharing drink glasses and utensils, and stay home if you are sick.
If you think you have the mumps, you should call your health care provider or Health Links – 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.
More information about mumps, can be found here.