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Mumps

Current Situation

Mumps outbreaks have been declared in the South and Edmonton Zones of Alberta Health Services.

Although outbreaks have only been declared in these two Zones, at this time, 51 cases of mumps have already been confirmed in Alberta in 2017, and outbreaks are ongoing elsewhere in Canada and the United States.

Mumps is a risk to health.

If you think that you or your child has mumps, be sure to call ahead and explain the symptoms before you go to a doctor's office. This can help reduce the risk of further spread to other patients.

Protect yourself & your family:

To reduce the risk to Albertans, we need to ensure as many people as possible are up to date with their mumps immunization.

Please be sure that you and your children are up to date on immunizations.

If you are unsure of how to find or check your immunization records, and/or how to make an appointment for immunization, please call Health Link at 811.

Routine Immunization Recommendations:

In Alberta, vaccines that protect against mumps (called MMR and MMRV) are routinely* offered, free of charge, according to the following recommendations:

  • Children should receive one dose of vaccine at 12 months of age, and a second dose between four years and six years of age. By the age of six, all Albertan children should have received two doses of mumps-containing vaccine.
  • Adults (18 years of age and older) and born in 1970 or later should have at least one dose of mumps-containing vaccine. (Note: two doses are recommended for post-secondary students of this age and for all healthcare workers)
  • Those born before 1970 are assumed to be immune due to the fact that mumps was extremely common prior to vaccine being available. (Note: one dose is recommended for post-secondary students of this age; two doses are recommended for all healthcare workers).
  • *During declared outbreaks, from time-to-time, immunization policy may temporarily change, for outbreak-impacted areas.  If uncertain of your eligibility or history, please call Health Link at 811 to discuss.  

Confirmed* Mumps cases in Alberta by Zone and Diagnosis Year

(2015-17(YTD))**

Year / Zone Calgary Central Edmonton North South Total
2015 3 1 0 0 0 4
2016 5 1 2 0 0 8
2017 (YTD) 12 0 24 0 15 51

* Note that 'confirmed cases' include cases that have been lab-confirmed, as well as cases of clinically confirmed mumps illness that are epidemiologically linked to a lab-confirmed case of mumps.

**As of March 27, 2017 @ 5 p.m.

About Mumps Illness:

What is Mumps?

Mumps is a contagious viral infection that can often cause swelling and pain in the glands of the jaw (one or both cheeks may look swollen).

Some people with mumps won't have gland swelling, and some may feel like they have a bad cold or influenza instead.

How is mumps spread?

Mumps is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes near you or shares food or drinks with you.

A person with mumps can spread the virus seven days before and for nine days after symptoms start, though it is most likely to spread one to two days before and five days after symptoms start showing.

What can happen if I have mumps?

Mumps usually goes away on its own in about 10 days, but in some cases it can cause serious complications that affect the brain (meningitis), the testicles (orchitis), the ovaries (oophoritis), or the pancreas (pancreatitis).

These complications can have life-long effects.

What should I do if I think I (or a loved one) has mumps?

Anyone with symptoms of pain on chewing or swallowing and/or swelling of the cheek or jaw should call Health Link (811) or a doctor to book an assessment and consideration of testing.

If you think that you or your child has mumps, be sure to call ahead and explain the symptoms before you go to a doctor's office. This can help reduce the risk of further spread to other patients.

Anyone with symptoms as above should stay home from school/work for 5 days from the start of swelling.

Page last updated March 28, 2017