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Toronto mumps update: Case confirmed at Ryerson University

The number of mumps cases reported in Toronto have risen to 48, according to Toronto Public Health today. Most of the cases are among 18-35 year old individuals and at least five of the cases are related to schools in Toronto, either among staff or students.

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At Ryerson University, Heather Adam,  manager of operations and strategy of Ryerson’s Recreation and Athletics Centre said there is one confirmed case reported in the athletics department.

Adam said the student in question likely had mumps while working as a scorekeeper at the RAC though she did not believe the student contracted it there. Ryerson students were informed of the confirmed case via email on March 17.

The mumps virus is found in saliva and respiratory droplets. It is spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and coming into contact with a person’s saliva by sharing drinks or utensils, food or water bottles, or by kissing. A major factor contributing to outbreaks is being in a crowded environment, such as attending the same class, playing on the same sports team or living in a dormitory with a person who has the mumps.

Symptoms include swelling and pain in one or more salivary glands (sides of the cheeks and jaw), fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, fatigue and loss of appetite. These symptoms can last up to 10 days.

Complications from mumps infection can include encephalitis (infection in the brain), meningitis (infection in the lining of the brain), painful swelling of the testicles or the ovaries, pancreatitis and hearing loss. Pregnant women who become infected with mumps during the first three months of pregnancy are at risk of miscarriage.

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