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Mumps on the rise in Manitoba, says province

Cases of measles confirmed across Canada, doctors blame anti-vaccination movement
A nurse uses a syringe to prepare an injection of the combined Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination. GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images

WINNIPEG — Manitoba public health officials say they are dealing with an outbreak of the mumps.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) said nine cases have been reported in less than two months.

That’s double the number the province usually experiences in a year.

Officials said all but two of the cases were students at the University of Manitoba; the others were in the general population.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said it is investigating each case and identifying people who may have come into contact with the illness.

Manitoba has offered a free vaccine to protect against mumps for two decades.

Mumps rising among students

On Wednesday, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) sent out a notice to students at the University of Manitoba, explaining how the illness is spread, what the signs and symptoms of the mumps are, and what you should do if you think you may have it.

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The disease is spread by direct contact with the saliva of an infected person through coughing, sneezing, sharing drinks or kissing, according to the WRHA. It also could take up to 25 days after your last exposure before you develop symptoms.

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The release on the University of Manitoba’s website says students who have not been vaccinated should consider getting the immunization at this time.

What are the signs and symptoms of mumps?

  • Swollen and tender glands at the jaw line on one or both sides of the face.
  • Fever.
  • Headache and muscle aches.

To reduce spread of mumps

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid sharing drinking glasses or eating utensils.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with the forearm or a tissue.
  • Stay home when sick.

For more information on what to do if you have the mumps, head to the WRHA website.

WATCH: Ask The Doctor: Mumps

*With files from the Canadian Press