Toronto Public Health is investigating a mumps outbreak in the city

Feb 22 2017, 7:40 pm

The City of Toronto says that Toronto Public Health is currently investigating 14 confirmed cases of mumps in the city.

While the investigation continues, the cases identified have a common link. According to a press release, the investigation to date has identified that many of these cases have frequented bars in the west downtown core of Toronto, which may be a contributing factor in the circulation of this viral infection.

The current cases involve individuals between 18 to 35 years of age.

The release states that 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.

One of the major factors 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.

The risk to the general public from this infection is low, according to the City. However, it is important that the public know mumps is circulating in Toronto and the following measures are recommended by Toronto Public Health:

• Check your immunization record to make sure you and your family members are up to date with the mumps vaccination (MMR or MMRV). If you are unsure, check with your health care provider. Individuals born after 1970 should have two doses of the vaccine.

• If you are travelling, ensure your immunizations are up-to-date before you leave, including family members travelling with you.

• Watch for symptoms of mumps. These 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.

• Call your doctor if you have symptoms of mumps infection, or if you have been in contact with someone who has mumps. Tell your doctor that you think you have mumps before going to the doctor’s office. This will allow the doctor to prepare for your visit and protect other patients.

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