The province is preparing for the mumps to make its way to Saskatchewan, as cases continue springing up in Alberta and Manitoba.
“Because we have it on both sides of our borders, and viruses don’t respect borders, we want Saskatchewan to be on alert for mumps,” Dr. Denise Werker, the province’s chief medical officer, said Tuesday.
The symptoms of mumps can be a fever, feeling unwell and having muscle aches. The major sign of mumps is swelling of one, or both, of the salivary glands.
The virus is transferred through saliva. Young adults are most likely to spread the virus from sharing drinks and cigarettes.
A number of Western Hockey League teams have reported having players infected. Werker said it’s common for sports teams to deal with the virus.
“One of the things with hockey is that the teams share – the players share water bottles or they are in close contact so their saliva can drip on each other.”
The province is urging people to get both of the mumps vaccines.
Individuals born between 1979 and 1990 may have only received one dose and are encouraged to get the second dose.
You can obtain your immunization records from the public health office in the health region where you received your immunizations.
People travelling are urged to make sure they have both vaccinations.
Those who have had mumps before have a natural immunity to the virus, making it unlikely they will contract it again.
While mumps is not seen as a serious condition, it can cause swelling of the brain leading to paralysis, seizures and death.
There have been seven reported cases of mumps in Saskatchewan between 2010 and 2016.
As of Feb. 28, there hasn’t been a Saskatchewan case reported in 2017.