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May 15, 2007
Update on mumps in Toronto
  
Today Toronto Public Health released information on three cases of mumps in Toronto linked to the recent outbreak among students from Eastern Canada. Two of these individuals are students who returned to Toronto from University in Halifax, where the mumps outbreak has been ongoing since January. The third case is a close contact of one of the two university students. This individual was at a downtown restaurant for several hours while infectious with mumps, and may have unknowingly spread the mumps virus to others.

“We are asking anyone who was at Supermarket Restaurant and Bar at 268 Augusta Avenue last Thursday evening, May 10, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. to watch for signs and symptoms of the mumps,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Medical Officer of Health and Director of Communicable Disease Control.

Toronto Public Health investigators have been unable to identify all of the individuals who shared drinks or cigarettes with this ill person to inform them of their potential exposure to mumps.

The mumps virus is most commonly found in saliva. It is often transmitted when an infected person passes saliva to another by sharing drinks, food, cigarettes or kissing, or by coughing and sneezing.

Signs and symptoms include; swelling and pain in one or more salivary glands (sides of the cheeks) fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Most people who get the mumps recover fully within two weeks. Serious illness associated with the mumps is rare. In very rare cases it can cause encephalitis, meningitis, and orchitis (inflammation of the lining of the testicles) in men. Pregnant women who become infected with mumps during the first three months of pregnancy are at risk of miscarriage.

Keep in mind that most adults born before 1970 have likely had mumps infection and are likely immune. Mumps in Toronto is rare, with an average of five cases reported per year over the last 10 years (1997-2006).

Most children born after 1990 have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two doses normally provides life long immunity. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that students and health care workers should get a second dose of MMR vaccine.

However, if you were born in Ontario after 1970, or before 1990, you likely received only one dose of mumps vaccine.

“Because of the outbreak among this age group in the East Coast, Toronto Public Health is also asking all students, who have returned to Toronto from the East Coast to watch for signs and symptoms of mumps,” said Dr. Yaffe.

These students should check their immunization status, and consider getting a booster shot if they received only one dose of MMR. For information on the vaccine, call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.

For more information, and for a Fact Sheet on mumps, visit: http://www.toronto.ca/health.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Rishma Govani, Media Relations, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974


 

 

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