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Don’t let the mumps ruin your St. Patrick’s Day festivities

CityNews | posted Friday, Mar 17th, 2017

Tetanus and Mumps 20150601

Bars across the city will be hopping with St. Patrick’s Day revelers on Friday, some as early as 11 a.m.

But, before you share that drink with a friend, Toronto Public Health wants to remind the public that the mumps virus is still kicking around town.

The outbreak started last month after 14 cases were confirmed involving people between the ages of 18 and 35 who had visited bars in the western part of the downtown core.

Health officials would not release the list of the bars, saying it wasn’t the bars themselves that was the issue, it was the behaviour of the patrons in the bars.

The mumps virus is found in saliva and sweat and is spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing and coming into contact with a person’s saliva by sharing drinks or utensils or by kissing.

Since the initial discovery, the number of cases has climbed to 43, four of them in schools.

Toronto Public Health is asking the public to take the following precautions:

1) Check vaccination records for you and your child

Two doses of mumps vaccine (MMR, MMRV) are recommended for all individuals born in 1970 or later. Children receive one dose after the first birthday (MMR) and a second dose at 4 to 6 years of age as part of Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule; check your child’s yellow immunization card. Individuals born between 1970 and 1992 may have received only one dose as a child. If an adult is unsure about their vaccinations or has only received one dose of mumps-containing vaccine, a booster dose is recommended.

2) Watch for symptoms of mumps

The mumps infection causes fever, swelling of one or more salivary glands, loss of appetite, tiredness, and headache. If you or your child have symptoms of the mumps and are ill, please contact your health care provider and do not attend work or school.

3) Planning to travel

Ensure that your immunizations are up-to-date for you and all your family members before travelling.

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