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There have been five laboratory-confirmed cases of mumps in students that attend Bishop MacDonnell and Our Lady of Lourdes High Schools in Guelph. In all cases the students had received the recommended two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Mumps was last confirmed in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph in January 2010. The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best form of defense against the disease.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a disease of the salivary glands. It is caused by a virus and can’t be treated. Mumps can cause serious illness and result in complications including orchitis (testicular inflammation), meningitis or hearing loss.

What are the signs and symptoms of mumps?

 The symptoms of mumps may include:

  • Fever
  • Swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands, especially the parotid glands (lower cheek area on either or both sides of the face)
  • Headache
  • Cold-like symptoms

How is it spread?

Mumps is spread by breathing in droplets that are sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks.  It can be spread by direct contact with discharge from an infected person’s mouth, nose, and throat, or through direct contact with objects used by an infected person.

How long is someone able to spread disease?

A person can spread mumps from seven days before the start of symptoms until five days after symptoms appear. It usually takes 12 to 25 days (average 16-18 days) for symptoms to start after someone has been exposed.

What can you do?

  • Watch for signs and symptoms of mumps.  If you develop symptoms, call your doctor. 
  • Check your immunization record to see if you have had the mumps vaccine. Two doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) are required. The first dose must have been given after your first birthday. If you require immunization please see your doctor or book an appointment with Public Health. Call 1-800-265-7293 extension 4134.

How to stop the spread of all germs:

  • Good handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of disease. Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol hand rub. This is most important before you prepare and eat food, and after you cough, sneeze, wipe a nose, or use the washroom.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not share food, drinks, toothbrushes, lip-care products, cigarettes, musical instruments with mouthpieces, or eating utensils with others. Sports teams should not share water bottles or mouthguards.
  • If you have symptoms of illness avoid direct saliva contact with others (e.g., kissing).

Additional Information:

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health invites members of the public to view photo submissions from community members at our photography showcase event Picturing Health in our Community - A Photography Showcase about what makes it easier or harder to be healthy in Guelph.
Picturing Health in our Community: A photography showcase

When: Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Where: Innovation Guelph, 111 Farquhar Street
Time: Drop-in between 4:30 - 7:00 pm
Free event. All welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Why is the showcase being held?
Most people know how important it is to have a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes our environments can make it difficult. The general belief is that poor health is the result of poor decision making, but the truth is much more complex.

The world around us shapes our behaviour more than we think. The people we interact with, the spaces we spend our time and even larger societal factors all play a huge role in determining our health. Our environments can shape our behaviours in big and small ways, whether it’s walking to work, being able to find a healthy snack, or having the social support to quit smoking.

At Public Health we are interested in learning how your environment can make it easier or harder to be healthy. To do this, we have launched the “Picturing Health in Our Community” Photovoice Project. During a Photovoice project, people use photographs to share their experiences on a specific topic. In this case, we asked participants to take photographs of the people, places and things in their communities that make it easier or harder to be healthy.

We will use the information collected to promote initiatives, programs and services in the community that support our health while also advocating for change to address things that make healthy living more difficult.

For more information on this initiative, read our recent blog post.

Our offices and clinics will be closed on Monday, May 18, 2015 for the Victoria Day holiday. Regular services resume Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

Pause To Play is meant to teach us about the health effects screen time has on people of all ages, and to encourage physical activity, and healthy nutrition with kids and youth.

Screen time is any time spent using a TV, computer, tablet, hand-held video game or cell phone. Links have been found between too much media use (more than 2 hours per day) and obesity, poor nutrition and poor mental health.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit, and local community partners are encouraging students and their families to pledge to Pause to Play” from May 10-16 in support of the initiative by sharing resources and fun-filled free, or low-cost community activities.