UPDATE: Canadian media report the number of mumps cases since September is nine in Manitoba, the majority linked to the University.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) reported Wednesday that an unspecified number of students at the University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus recently diagnosed with Mumps, prompting a Mumps Alert to be issued.
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared.
Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. It is usually a mild disease, but can occasionally cause serious complications.
The most common complication is inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems.
Other rare complications include inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord(encephalitis/meningitis), inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breasts (mastitis) infemales who have reached puberty and deafness. Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.
Winnipeg health officials issued the following recommendations:
- If you develop symptoms or signs suggestive of Mumps, limit contact with others and contact your health care provider. Phone ahead to alert the clinic that you suspect you may have mumps so that they can take adequate precautions to prevent spread to others
- While awaiting diagnosis, you should limit contact with others until 5 days after the swollen glands first appear
- Check your immunization records to see if you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine. You can contact your health care provider or public health office for assistance in accessing your records.
- If you have not had two doses of MMR vaccine then you should either arrange for vaccination with your health care provider or contact your local public health office a to receive an immunization.
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