Updated Nov. 6, 2017

Public Health Nova Scotia has confirmed three cases of mumps and is investigating several suspect cases.

All three cases have been among young adults, ages 18 to 30, some of whom have connections to universities or who visited popular bars or restaurants in Halifax during their exposure periods.

If you have recently visited Halifax or been in contact with students from Halifax, you should ensure your immunizations are up to date.

Preventing mumps
The best way to prevent mumps is to be immunized.

In New Brunswick, children receive a measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 and 18 months of age as part of the routine immunization schedule.

Adults born in 1970 or later who have not previously received two doses of MMR vaccine are eligible to receive free MMR vaccine.

If you are interested in receiving the mumps vaccine for the first time or require the recommended second dose, contact Public Health New Brunswick’s Moncton office at (506) 856-2401, your family physician, or a local pharmacy. 

What is mumps and how does it spread?
Mumps is caused by a virus and is spread through close contact with an infected person. It is highly contagious and is easily passed from person to person.

You can become infected by breathing in the virus when in close contact with someone who coughs or sneezes. The virus can also be spread by direct contact with the nasal or throat secretions of an infected person through sharing:

  • food, drinks, eating utensils, or saliva (kissing)
  • toothbrushes, mouthguards, towels, cigarettes, or lipstick
  • toys that young children bring to their mouth or musical instruments with a mouthpiece

An infected person can spread mumps from about seven days before to nine days after swelling of the cheeks and neck.

People with mumps should stay away from childcare centres, school, and work for five days after neck and cheek swelling. They should cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, throw away dirty tissues, wash hands well, and not share eating utensils, food, or drinking cups.

People who have been in close contact with someone who has mumps should consult a healthcare provider.

Symptoms of mumps
It is important to see a health care provider as soon as possible if you are showing symptoms of mumps.

Symptoms of mumps usually begin 16 to 18 days after infection.

Symptoms of mumps include:

  • Swelling of the cheek or neck on one or both sides
  • fever
  • headache or earache
  • tiredness
  • sore muscles
  • trouble talking, chewing, or swallowing
  • loss of appetite

Most people recover from mumps within seven to 10 days. However, those who become very ill can develop complications including:

  • swelling of the brain (encephalitis) or of the lining of the brain (meningitis)
  • arthritis
  • deafness
  • sterility (unable to have children)
  • increased rate of miscarriage for those in the first trimester of pregnancy

Find out more
For more information on mumps, please visit the following links: