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Mumps Prevention

February 2017

Attention: Parents and Guardians

RE: Health, Seniors and Active Living - Mumps in Manitoba

Since September 2016, Manitoba has been experiencing an outbreak of Mumps. As of February 10, 2017 there have been 162 confirmed cases. In recent weeks the spread of mumps has expanded throughout Manitoba and now includes cases in pre-school and school aged populations. Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) would like to ensure that all parents and guardians are aware of the situation and know how to recognize the symptoms of mumps, understand how to prevent its spread and know what to do if they suspect they or their child(ren) may be infected with the mumps virus. 

The mumps virus can be spread to others from two to three days before symptoms appear until four to five days after symptoms appear. Some people infected with mumps may not have any symptoms at all, but can still spread the virus to other people.

What are the signs and symptoms of mumps?

Mumps often starts with cold-like symptoms, including:

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

Although there can be rare complications from mumps, such as hearing loss and sterility, the vast majority of cases are mild, with full recovery in one to two weeks.

How is mumps spread?

Mumps is spread by direct contact with the saliva of an infected person, such as through coughing, sneezing, sharing drinks (e.g. water bottles, straws) or kissing.

A person with no symptoms can transmit infection. Individuals with mumps will be asked to restrict their contact with others to reduce the possible spread of mumps.

Mumps prevention

To reduce the spread of mumps, people should:

  • wash their 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; and,
  • STAY HOME when sick.

Immunization against mumps using a mumps-containing vaccine is available free-of-charge to Manitobans as part of Manitoba's Routine Immunization Schedule with the following Vaccine Eligibility Criteria:

  • All children 12 months of age or older are eligible to receive 2 doses of MMRV vaccine. Doses are administered at 12 months and 4-6 years of age.
  • Those born during or after 1985 are eligible for 2 doses of MMR vaccine;
  • Those born between 1970 and 1984 who have not received a vaccine containing measles or mumps or have not had natural measles or mumps infection are eligible for one dose of MMR vaccine;
  • Non-immune health care workers, regardless of age, are eligible for 2 doses of MMR vaccine; and,
  • Non-immune students born before 1970 are eligible for 1 dose; students born in 1970 or later are eligible for 2 doses of MMR vaccine.

Contact your health care provider to determine if you need to be immunized against mumps.

What to do if you think you or your child(ren) have mumps

People who think they might have mumps, or have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with mumps, should phone their health care provider or phone Health Links - Info Sante at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) for more information.

If visiting a physician or health care provider, it is best to call ahead and make an appointment so health care staff can take steps to reduce the exposure of other people to the virus.

For more information about mumps, visit the MHSAL mumps disease webpage at:

"Original Signed By"

Richard Baydack, PhD
Director, Communicable Disease Control

Richard Rusk, DVM, MD, CCFP, MPH
Medical Officer of Health, CDC

Health, Seniors and Active Living
Active Living, Population and Public Health Branch
Communicable Disease Control
4th Floor -300 Carlton, Winnipeg MB R3B 3M9
T 204-788-6737 F 204-948-2190
Website: www.gov.mb.ca/health


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