The Middlesex-London Health Unit issued is warning the southwestern Ontario community that the mumps “may be making the rounds of downtown establishments” and is urging people to check their immunization status.
According to the local health unit, there have been two connected cases of mumps among people who visited downtown bars.
“We want to get the word out to people who may have headed downtown to enjoy the nightlife recently, that they may have been exposed to the mumps virus unknowingly. They should watch themselves closely for the development of symptoms,” says Dr. Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health.
“Anyone who develops a fever, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and or swelling or pain near the jaw or cheeks should stay home and contact their health care provider first before seeking care.”
The health unit is also advising people to make sure their vaccinations are up to date.
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 50 should receive two MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccinations. Officials say a second dose may be beneficial for those born between 1970 and 1991, who likely only received one MMR shot as children.
While most who contract mumps fully recover, there is the potential for complications, including infections of the brain, the lining of the brain, ovaries, breasts, or pancreas. Deafness is also a rare complication. Men can develop an infection in their testicles which can, in rare cases, result in infertility. Mumps also increases the risk of miscarriage for pregnant women in their first trimester.
More information can be found on the health unit’s website.