Toronto Public Health is investigating a mumps outbreak in the city. The mumps virus is found in saliva, and is spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, and sharing drinks, utensils, food or water bottles. Although the risk of acquiring mumps in Toronto schools is low given that most schools have high vaccination rates, cases were identified recently.
A letter was sent home with students from Dr. Vinita Dubey, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health (TPH). Principals have also been asked to take steps to minimize the spread of mumps.
Mumps infection causes fever, swelling of one or more salivary glands, loss of appetite, tiredness, and headache. Children with symptoms suggestive of mumps should be assessed by a health care provider. Students with suspect and confirmed cases of mumps are excluded from school for 5 days after the swelling of the salivary glands.
For more information, visit www.toronto.ca/health or download the fact sheet about mumps. For any questions, please contact TPH's, Health Connection at 416-338-7600 during business hours (8:30am to 4:30pm).