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Mumps fact sheet: 28 confirmed cases in Toronto

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Mar 8th, 2017

Toronto’s total number of confirmed mumps cases grew to 28 Tuesday, with two more cases from the Toronto District School Board testing positive for the virus.

The outbreak began last month and an investigation was launched after 14 people tested positive for the virus.

Most of those infected were 18 to 35 years old, and either lived or attended bars downtown. Initially, Toronto Public Health (TPH) said most people who contracted the virus from a bar attended businesses west of Yonge Street.

At least three cases of the confirmed cases are from the Toronto District School Board.

As more cases continue to be discovered, TPH  is educating people about how to prevent the condition from spreading.

Here’s a condensed fact sheet with everything you need to know:


  • Mumps is a virus that affects the salivary glands (sides of cheeks and jaw). You can only catch it once, just like the chicken pox.
  • It spreads from person to person through saliva and respiratory drops, including coughs and sneezes.
  • Common symptoms include: Swelling and pain in one or more salivary glands (sides of the cheeks and jaw), fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, fatigue and loss of appetite.
  • Symptoms appear 12 to 25 days after infection and can last up to 10 days.
  • Most youth in schools are protected — TPH says most school rates for mumps vaccinations sit above 90 per cent.
  • Anyone born between 1970 and 1992 should check if they’ve been previously vaccinated for mumps, because there’s a chance they’re not or have only received one dose. TPH recommends a booster dose
  • Most adults born before 1970 are likely immune to mumps because they’ve been exposed to or infected with the virus already.


Diagnosing yourself

  • Mumps is only confirmed with a blood test, a urine test and a swab of the throat or salivary gland. If you suspect any of the symptoms mentioned above, give your doctor a heads-up and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
  • If you don’t have a family doctor, head to ehealthontario.on.ca and click on the link for immunizations. Call the number and you’ll get the info you need over the phone.
  • TPH advises that anyone with symptoms to NOT attend daycare, school or work, should avoid participating in group activities, and having visitors for five days following any swelling. You should also avoid sharing food, drinks, cigarettes, water bottles, or kissing others.


  • The only way to prevent contracting mumps is getting vaccinated prior to infection.
  • There are two vaccine options: MMR (For measles, mumps and rubella) or MMRV (For measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox)).
  • MMR is routinely given to children at 12 months. MMRV is routinely given between the ages of 4 and 6 years old, or before a child enters the school system.
  • Two doses of vaccine normally provide life-long immunity, with an 88 per cent effectiveness rate.


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