The Canadian resort town in British Columbia, Whistler, is experiencing an outbreak of mumps, prompting calls for vaccination from local health officials. According to Vancouver Coastal Health, 11 cases of mumps were reported in young adults in Whistler as of Friday.

British Columbia Image/EOZyo
British Columbia

To be protected against mumps, you need to have:

  • Two doses of mumps containing vaccine if you were born after January 1st 1970
  • One dose of vaccine if you were born between January 1st 1957 and December 31st, 1969

If you were born before 1957 or have had mumps infection, you are considered protected.

Mumps vaccine is usually given as MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella).  Because a second dose of MMR was not added to routine vaccination schedule in BC until 1996, many adults born between 1970 and 1996 are not fully protected.  If you are not sure if you have complete protection, it is safe for you to receive another dose of MMR vaccine.

MMR vaccine is available from your public health unit, pharmacist or family doctor.  To respond to this outbreak, additional vaccination clinics will be held at Whistler Public Health, on the second floor at 4380 Lorimer road (Telephone: 604-932-3202) on Monday May 16th 12:00 – 4:00  pm.

Mumps is a viral illness causing fever and swelling of the salivary glands in the face, which are located below the jaw and ears and under the tongue. Not everyone infected with mumps will have salivary gland swelling. Complications can occur as a result of mumps infections including swelling of the testes in adult males and swelling of the ovaries in adult females, although sterility is a rare outcome. Rare complications include inflammation of the brain (meningitis) and temporary but often permanent deafness.

If you think you have mumps disease, please stay home from work and social events. Contact your doctor before going to the clinic to avoid infecting other patients and office staff.