6 cases of mumps confirmed in eastern Newfoundland since December
Eastern Health authority says 13 other cases being tested for the virus
The health authority in eastern Newfoundland says test results have confirmed six cases of mumps in the region since December, and another 13 cases of facial swelling are being tested for the virus.
In a news release Monday, Eastern Health said most of the cases involve adults, but have been reported in patients from ages 10 to 40.
While most children are vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella at 12 months and again at 18 months, there has been an increase of mumps reported in many parts of North America.
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Eastern Health said that people should check their immunization records and anyone born after 1970 should consider a second dose of vaccine if they haven't had one.
The health authority said doctors have reported 19 cases of parotitis, a swelling of the parotid or salivary glands in the past six weeks.
The swelling can also be caused by infection with mumps, influenza A or other respiratory viruses. Test results from the National Microbiology Labrador are expected this week.
Mumps can be spread through close contact with an infected person — from coughs or sneezes, or through kissing. It can also be spread by sharing drinks or cigarettes.
The virus can be dangerous to infants under one year of age, pregnant women in their first trimester or people with a compromised immune system.
Besides swollen glands, symptoms include low-grade fever, headache, aches and pains and loss of appetite.
The only treatment is rest, fluids and acetaminophen.
In 2014, mumps sidelined several players in the National Hockey League.