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Mumps outbreak triggers advisory from NWT’s top doctor

The territory’s chief public health officer has issued a travel health notice for NWT residents regarding the recent outbreak of mumps in southern provinces.

“Several Canadian provinces are experiencing a mumps outbreak,” Dr. André Corriveau said in the advisory, issued earlier this month.

“While members of professional sport teams have been the most affected by these outbreaks, it has also impacted individuals in other settings.

“If you are travelling outside of the NWT, please ensure that your vaccines are up to date and you take precautions to avoid being exposed to this disease.”

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Mumps is a contagious virus that can cause painful swelling of the cheeks and neck, fever, headache, fatigue or loss of appetite.

Most healthy people usually recover from the virus in 10 days, but in rarer cases it can cause serious complications like deafness or meningitis.

Mumps is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread through contact with an infected person’s saliva.

To avoid getting mumps, Corriveau says it’s important to make sure immunizations are up to date. The mumps vaccination is free to NWT residents.

The territory’s Department of Health says there haven’t been any confirmed cases of mumps in the territory this year. Anyone who thinks they have the virus should contact their local health centre or family doctor.

You can learn more about mumps here (pdf).

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