Vac­ci­na­tion time

Mumps di­ag­nosed in some North­west­ern com­mu­ni­ties

Kenora Daily Miner and News - - WEATHER -

The North­west­ern Health Unit has is­sued an alert for peo­ple in the re­gion to be aware some com­mu­ni­ties have re­cently di­ag­nosed cases of the mumps, a vi­ral ill­ness for which there is no treat­ment but can be pre­vented by vac­ci­na­tion.

The most com­mon symp­toms of mumps are swollen, painful cheeks and neck, fever, headache, mus­cle aches, weak­ness and loss of ap­petite. Com­pli­ca­tions are rare, but se­ri­ous, in­clud­ing in­flamed ovaries or tes­ti­cles, hear­ing loss and menin­gi­tis.

The NWHU nor­mally doesn’t iden­tify com­mu­ni­ties where only a small sam­ple of the pop­u­la­tion has con­tracted the virus due to the low pop­u­la­tion num­bers in many ar­eas which could make it easy to iden­tify the pa­tient.

High-risk can­di­dates for de­vel­op­ing the in­fec­tion in­clude peo­ple who have not been vac­ci­nated ad­e­quately for mumps, school-aged chil­dren and peo­ple who par­tic­i­pate in or or­ga­nize youth team sports and any­one born be­tween 1970 to 1992 who have had only one dose of the vac­cine.

Peo­ple who are ill should stay home from work or school and avoid pub­lic places, es­pe­cially:

• Those who cur­rently have a fever.

• Those who have swollen, painful cheeks and neck, par­tic­u­larly if there has been re­cent con­tact with peo­ple with mumps.

Mumps can be pre­vented by reg­u­lar hand wash­ing or using a hand san­i­tizer, cough­ing or sneez­ing into a tis­sue or sleeve, not shar­ing wa­ter bot­tles, straws, cig­a­rettes or any­thing else that may have saliva.

Mumps vac­cine as part of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vac­cine (MMR) can be 75-95 per cent ef­fec­tive in prevent­ing mumps and is the best way to pre­vent mumps. The NWHU’s med­i­cal of­fi­cer of health rec­om­mends a sec­ond MMR for every­one up to age 47 in our re­gion at this time (un­less there is a med­i­cal rea­son for not vac­ci­nat­ing). Please check your im­mu­niza­tion records to be sure you have had both doses.

If you think you or your child may have mumps you can call Tele­health On­tario at 1-866-797-0000. If you visit an emer­gency room or clinic, san­i­tize your hands and put on a mask at the en­trance and tell some­one that you may have mumps, in or­der to help pro­tect other sick peo­ple in the wait­ing area.

If you have other ques­tions, please con­tact the NWHU at 1-800-830-5978.

FILE PHOTO/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

A bot­tle of the com­bined vac­cine for measles, mumps and rubella.

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