I wrote several posts last year on the mumps outbreak here in Iowa. We didn’t get hit with mumps this year, but there has been an ongoing outbreak in Canada, primarily in Nova Scotia. So how do I fit into this?
Most recently, mumps has been diagnosed in Toronto:
Canada’s ongoing mumps outbreak has hit the country’s biggest city. And Toronto’s public health officials expect the current case count of three infections to climb before the outbreak subsides.
“I think we may see more cases,” Dr. Barbara Yaffe, director of communicable disease control for Toronto Public Health, said in an interview Tuesday.
That’s because one of the infected young adults spent a number of hours last Thursday night at a crowded night spot in the city’s Kensington Market neighbourhood known as the Supermarket Restaurant and Bar.
“We know it’s a very popular place. There were probably around 300 people there. And so they may have been exposed to mumps,” said Yaffe.
Like Iowa’s outbreak, the Canadian mumps epidemic has also revolved around college students:
Yaffe said two of the three Toronto cases are students who attend university in Halifax who came home at the end of the school year. The third was a person exposed to one of the two cases.
University aged young adults make up the majority of the cases. They appear to be at greatest risk because they would have only received one dose of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in childhood. While one dose protected a great number of people, in some people it wasn’t sufficient to prevent infection; since the mid-1990s two doses have been given.
So, again, why Toronto, and why does that matter to me? I’m heading there next week for the American Society for Microbiology’s General Meeting. However, I’m not too worried–the bar scene isn’t my thing, and I certainly won’t be swapping spit. Now, to just figure out a way to steer clear from those pesky college students who will be populating the meeting…