Nova Scotia reacts to mumps outbreak

May 17, 2007

Health care workers in Nova Scotia received immunizations from mumps this week as the Canadian province took steps to limit an outbreak of the disease.

While the viral disease continues to spread across Canada with 222 total cases reported to date since the initial outbreak, Nova Scotia officials immunized workers to prevent them from unknowingly spreading mumps to others, the CanWest news service said Wednesday.

"Public health officials across Canada have been on alert since the beginning of the outbreak," Health Promotion and Protection official Melissa MacKinnon said. "What's difficult with the mumps is that you're spreading it before you even know you have it."

The rarely fatal disease is typically transferred through saliva, but a long delay between infection and symptoms arising can increase the risk of infection.

Mumps cases have been on the rise throughout Nova Scotia, but have declined in the province's capital of Halifax.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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