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Thirteen confirmed mumps cases in Halifax-area says Nova Scotia Health Authority

Mumps is often spread through sharing drinks, food, utensils and cigarettes
(stock image)

The number of confirmed mumps cases in the Halifax-area has gone up to 13.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority says two of those are the cases connected to Dalhousie University that were reported earlier this month.

Those infected range in age from 20 to 36.

As we approach the holidays, Halifax's medical officer of health Dr. Trevor Arnason is reminding the public that most cases are connected to social activies, like going to parties or bars.

He says it's often spread through sharing drinks, food, utensils and cigarettes.

Kissing, coughing in close quarters and speaking for extended periods in a crowded space can also spread the virus.

"We strongly encourage everyone to check their immunization status and ensure they’re up to date with two doses of a mumps-containing vaccine," he said in a news release.

"This is especially important in the 20- to 40-year-old age group, as many of these individuals received only a single dose of vaccine and are less likely to have immunity from mumps infection as a child."

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen jaw glands and swollen testicles.

Most recover without complications, but mumps can sometimes lead to meningitis, swelling of the ovaries, inflammation of the pancreas, short-term or permanent hearing loss and it can be especially serious for pregnant women.

Nova Scotia residents born in or after 1970 are eligible to get the mumps vaccine through their primary care provider at no cost.

Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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