North

Mumps cases confirmed in the N.W.T. for 1st time in 23 years

The N.W.T.’s chief public health officer confirmed two cases of the mumps, a first in the territory in 23 years.

Affected individuals recently attended hand games, says Andre Corriveau

Dr. Andre Corriveau issued a health advisory on Friday warning that the acute, infectious virus may be circulating in some communities. (iStock)

The N.W.T.'s chief public health officer confirmed the first new cases of the mumps in the territory in 23 years.

Dr. Andre Corriveau issued a health advisory warning on Thursday that the acute, infectious virus may be circulating in some communities.

There are two cases confirmed and at least two other cases are being investigated, Corriveau said.

Those individuals recently attended hand games, providing the virus with an opportunity to spread to other communities in the territory.

"There are many people from communities across the North [at hand games]," Corriveau explained.

"We wanted to make sure all our healthcare workers are alerted to this and the general public can be mindful that the venue might have been a source of exposure for this illness."

Dr. Andre Corriveau, the Northwest Territories' chief medical officer, says there are two cases confirmed and at least two other cases being investigated. (CBC)

No real treatment

Mumps is an infection that often causes swelling in the salivary glands, but often begins with symptoms that look like the flu. The disease can be prevented by a vaccine and the best way to keep from contracting the illness is to get vaccinated, Corriveau said.

There are some rare complications, such as swelling of the testicles, but most people will get over the virus, he said.

"You're going to be really miserable for a week or two," he said.

"There's no real treatment or antibiotic so we manage the pain and fever with Tylenol and ask people to be isolated, not go to work or to school or other events if they're diagnosed with mumps."   

Anyone who thinks they have contracted mumps is asked to stay at home, away from other people before contacting their doctor over the phone instead of going to the hospital or health centre.

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