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Vancouver Canucks not taking any chances with mumps in the NHL

WATCH ABOVE: Nadia Stewart reports on the newest cases of mumps in the NHL.

VANCOUVER – Sidney Crosby is now the 13th player in the NHL to contract the mumps virus. The Pittsburgh Penguins confirmed the news Sunday morning after the captain sat out two games for precautionary reasons.

While no hockey player in a Canadian team has come down with the mumps, the Vancouver Canucks are not taking any chances.

“The guys have to speak up if they’re not feeling well, that’s the biggest thing,” says goalie Ryan Miller. “Sometimes the boys just want to come to practice, they want to be there with the group of guys, they don’t want to take a sick day, and some guys might just think they have a little cold.”

In a statement, Canucks’ team doctor Mike Wilkinson says “we have been monitoring the mumps cases around the NHL and provided those who needed it with the vaccine in a preventive measure to help protect against it. Although no measure is 100 per cent effective, so far we have seen no cases of the virus.”

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The mumps is contagious and spreads with saliva or mucus, usually by coughing, sneezing or talking.

Monika Naus of the BC Centre for Disease Control says the general public should not be worried about a larger mumps outbreak. In 2013, there were 54 cases of the mumps in B.C. with similar numbers this year.
Naus says those most at risk include people who have have not been vaccinated as well as “undervaccinated” people who only had one dose of the vaccine.
She adds that the recent mumps outbreak among NHL players should serve as a reminder for people to check if their vaccinations are up-to-date.
Those interested in receiving the mumps vaccine can find information at the Immunize BC website.