Ontario, particularly the Greater Toronto Area, is seeing an increase in confirmed cases of mumps primarily involving individuals 20 to 40 years of age. Most recently, there have been some confirmed cases of mumps in school aged children in Toronto. Halton Region has one confirmed case of mumps in 2017.
The Halton Region Health Department is reminding individuals born between 1970 and 1992 to check with your doctor to ensure you have had a booster shot for the mumps vaccine (MMR) if you only received one MMR vaccine in the past,” said Dr. Daniela Kempkens, Acting Medical Officer of Health. “We strongly advise all residents to check their vaccination records to reduce the spread of mumps and protect themselves against this contagious viral disease.”
Parents of children attending school are also reminded that two doses of mumps vaccine are required under the Immunization of Schools Pupils Act.
Mumps is a contagious viral disease that can infect people of any age. It is more common in school-aged children and young adults. One of the main symptoms is swelling of the glands in the cheeks and jaw. The swelling is caused by an infection of the salivary glands. Mumps is spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing and coming into contact with a person’s saliva by sharing food, drinks, utensils, drinking bottles, cigarettes or by kissing. Most people who get mumps are sick for up to 10 days. Symptoms can appear 12 to 25 days after contact and can be more severe for infants and adults.
Mumps can be prevented through immunization with two doses of mumps vaccine,” explained Dr. Kempkens. “People who have mumps need to isolate themselves while they are ill and for five full days after the swelling first appears.”
If you think you may have mumps and need to see a doctor, you must call ahead to the doctor’s office, walk-in clinic, or emergency department. This will allow health care staff to prepare for your arrival and help avoid contact with other patients. In a doctor’s office you may be given the last appointment of the day.
For more information, visit halton.ca/mumps or call the Halton Region Health Department by dialing 311.