Two cases of mumps confirmed on Vancouver Island
It seems not a day goes by when we don't hear about another mumps outbreak somewhere in Canada -- particularly in Western Canada, and the U.S.. And while we've heard about quarantines placed on sports team members exhibiting symptoms, so far Vancouver Island Health Authority has confirmed 2 cases so far. Last year there were 26 confirmed cases during the year.
Medical Health officer Dr. Dee Hoyano says mumps is quite contagious, and is passed through saliva or mucous. Vaccination programs have kept a lid on mumps in past decades, but cases are now increasing again:
"We've had an increase in cases in the last several years, particularly among young adults. And that's because there's a group of young people who have only received one vaccine, and so it gives them less protection that 2 vaccines,which is recommended now and has been going on since the late 90's. "
People born after 1970 may require a booster shot.
You could be carrying the virus for 2 to 3 weeks before symptoms appear -- those range from fever and swelling of salivary glands, to serious complications including an inflammation of the brain, permanent hearing damage, and painful swelling of reproductive organs that can lead to sterility.