Provincial public health officials confirmed today that cases of mumps continue to be reported in Manitoba. While the majority of cases are people between 17 to 29 years of age and are connected to the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and Université de St. Boniface, some cases are not connected to these sites.
The majority of affected individuals are students and live in Winnipeg. With the holiday season approaching, students may be attending events or returning home and, if infected, could spread mumps to people in communities throughout the province and elsewhere.
Manitoba typically experiences four to five cases of mumps every year. Between Sept. 1 and Dec. 8, 61 cases have been reported in Manitoba.
Public health officials in the regional health authorities investigate each case of mumps and identify the people they may have been contact with and the locations. Where appropriate, people will be offered immunization. Individuals with mumps will be asked to restrict their contact with others to reduce the possible spread of mumps. Public health officials will continue to monitor the situation in Manitoba and provide updated information as necessary.
The mumps virus can be passed on to others when an infected person passes fluids from the mouth and nose to another by sharing drinks, food or cigarettes; by kissing; by coughing or sneezing within a few feet of another person.
To reduce the spread of mumps, people should:
- wash their hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available,
- avoid sharing drinking glasses or eating utensils,
- cover coughs and sneezes with the forearm or a tissue, and
- stay home when sick.
Although there can be rare complications from mumps, the vast majority of cases are mild, with full recovery in one to two weeks. Key symptoms include swelling and pain in one or more salivary glands, usually on both sides of the face, and fever.
The mumps virus can be spread to others from two to three days before and four to five days after symptoms appear. Some people infected with mumps may not have any symptoms at all, but can still spread the virus to other people.
In Manitoba, a two-dose measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine program was introduced in 1996. Protection against mumps is offered free-of-charge as part of Manitoba’s routine immunization schedule at 12 months of age and again at four to six years of age. Health-care workers and students may also be eligible. Manitobans should contact their health-care provider to determine if they require this vaccine.