Published Date: 2012-04-21 17:23:52
Subject: PRO/EDR> Mumps - Canada: (MB), school outbreak
Archive Number: 20120421.1109536
MUMPS - CANADA: (MANITOBA), SCHOOL OUTBREAK
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sat 21 Apr 2012
Source: Winnipeg Free Press [edited]
Mumps outbreak infected 11 at city school
8 students and 3 adults at one Winnipeg school contracted mumps in an unusual outbreak this winter that resulted in more than 200 people being immunised. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority [WRHA] is using the outbreak to draw attention to the 'Immunization Awareness Week' next week. But the WRHA will not name the school, will not give the ages of the students involved nor say whether the adults are teachers, and will not say if it is a public or private school. There is no public health risk and identifying the school and its community could violate the privacy of health information of individuals, the WRHA said.
Several city school divisions said Thursday the outbreak did not occur in any of their schools. The Manitoba Teachers' Society said the teachers' union would expect to be aware of outbreaks of illness in a school, which suggests the outbreak may have been in a private school. "It's really important that people remember the importance of immunization," Dr. Michael Routledge, a public officer of health, said Thursday [19 Apr 2012]. Routledge said immunizations are safe and effective, and Winnipeg has a good rate of immunization.
Nevertheless, 2010 data showed only 66 per cent of 7-year-olds in the city received every recommended immunization, though most of the rest were missing only one or 2, Routledge said. He said the WRHA became aware of the mumps outbreak in late December  and tracked it for 2 months. "We identified what ended up as 11 cases," he said. He said mumps is a viral disease that is usually benign, causing the cheeks to swell. But it can cause sterility in males and in a small number of cases, can lead to encephalitis. It is also contagious, he said.
Routledge said the cases were in one school and teachers were involved, though the health authority is not saying if the three 3 cases were teachers. "We worked with the parents associated with the school," he said. One person who developed mumps had been in the process of receiving immunization, but there was under-immunization in that school population, he said. More than 200 people associated with the school were immunized after the outbreak.
The WRHA sent all physicians in the province a letter advising them to be on the alert for symptoms of mumps. The Education Department referred all questions about the mumps outbreak to Manitoba Health, which cited the privacy of personal health information and deferred to the WRHA for comment. To see what Manitoba Health told the province's doctors in January about the outbreak, go to:
(By: Nick Martin)
ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts
["Even though mumps was described by Hippocrates more than 2 thousand years ago and a vaccine has been available for decades, the disease continues to spread in our communities and act in unexpected ways. During the prevaccine era in the United States, 90% of all children had experienced mumps virus infection by 14 years of age and large outbreaks occurred regularly, especially when those raised in rural areas were brought together into crowded situations, such as military barracks. After a mumps vaccine was licensed in 1968 and recommended for all children in 1977, the reported incidence of mumps began to decline substantially.
A resurgence of outbreaks of both mumps and measles in the mid-1980s, often among high school and college students, resulted in the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee recommendation in late 1989 of a second dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. By the 2006–2007 school year, between 81% and 100% of children entering schools in the United States had received 2 doses. Between 2000 and 2005, less than 350 cases of mumps were reported annually in the United States, and an elimination goal for mumps was set for the year 2010. In 2006, however, college campuses in Iowa were the initial foci of what became the largest epidemic of mumps in 2 decades; by the end of that year, 6584 cases of mumps had been reported in the United States. [Taken from: M. Patricia Quinlisk, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 202, Issue 5 Pp. 655-656; http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/202/5/655].
Outbreaks of mumps have been reported frequently in Canada in the recent past as documented by the ProMED-mail posts listed below. These outbreaks have generally been associated with schools and educational establishments. In the present situation the reluctance of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to identify the school affected is unusual and seemingly illogical. It suggests perhaps that the school involved actively discouraged vaccination of its scholars and staff members for religious or philosophical reasons. Further information would be welcomed.
The City of Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba, can be located by accessing the interactive HealthMap at: http://healthmap.org/r/2fAU. - Mod.CP]]