The number of mumps cases reported in the Manitoba, Canada outbreak has doubled since Mar. 1, according to the latest data released at the end of April.
Since September 1, 2016 and up to April 28, 2017 there have been 345 confirmed cases of mumps reported to Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.
Typically, Manitoba sees less than 10 mumps cases annually.
Health officials say the outbreak could surpass 600 cases. Dr. Richard Rusk, a provincial medical officer of health said, “We’re still going to see increasing numbers for at least another month, if not longer.”
Mumps is caused by the mumps virus, which is spread through respiratory droplets in the air formed when coughing or sneezing and through the sharing of food or drinks. You can also catch it by touching an item that was previously touched by an infected person and then touching your eyes or mouth.
Symptoms generally occur between 12 to 25 days after infection and resolve three to ten days after onset of illness. The most common are fever and swollen cheeks and neck. Swollen cheeks and neck are due to swollen glands, usually under the ears or jaw on one or both sides of the face.
Approximately 20 per cent of those infected with mumps will not show any symptoms. Nearly half of those infected have mainly respiratory symptoms.
A person is infectious from seven days before to 5 days after the onset of swollen glands. Maximum infectiousness occurs 2 days before symptoms until 5 days after. A person with no symptoms can transmit infection.
Mumps can be prevented through immunization. Other precautions can be taken, including practicing good hand hygiene, covering your mouth with a tissue or your shirt sleeve when you cough or sneeze, and avoiding sharing of personal items.
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