As you may have heard, mumps has been circulating in Peterborough recently. We are contacting you to provide some advice on how to keep yourself, and our schools, healthy and safe.
Mumps is caused by a virus. It causes swelling of one or more salivary glands, fever, loss of appetite, tiredness and headache. Mumps is spread by droplets or saliva from the person who is infectious. We advise that everyone take extra care not to share drinking bottles or cups, stay home if ill, and wash hands frequently, especially before eating or touching your face.
As immunization helps to decrease the risk of becoming ill with mumps, Peterborough Public Health is reminding everyone born after 1970 to check to make sure you have had two doses of the vaccine given after the first birthday and a minimum of 28 days apart. The mumps vaccine is part of the MMR or MMRV vaccine combination.
If we have documented spread of mumps in a school setting, the Immunization of School Pupils Act does mandate school principals to exclude any student who does not have two doses of the mumps vaccine. Peterborough Public Health will also require non-immune staff to stay home for the period of risk. So please make sure you are protected and if not, see your health care provider or call Peterborough Public Health at (705)743-1000, ext. 131, to receive your mumps vaccine.
If you develop symptoms, do not go to school and call your health care provider. Your health care provider may order tests to diagnose mumps if he or she suspects this to be the case. Because mumps is a reportable disease, Peterborough Public Health may be in touch to work with you and your contacts to help prevent the spread. Mumps is infectious 7 days before the onset of symptoms. In addition, a person with mumps can spread the illness for 5 days after becoming ill.
To check whether your immunizations are up to date, visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca or call your health care provider. You will also find a fact sheet with further details about mumps symptoms, prevention and risks on their website.