Peterborough Public Health wants residents to check their vaccination records after three people were diagnosed with the mumps virus.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra said she wouldn’t be surprised if more cases surfaced in the Peterborough area over the next few days.
“There have been more than 100 cases in Ontario alone, so it’s definitely not surprising that we’re seeing an outbreak here,” she said.
Mumps causes fever, headaches and swollen salivary glands. The virus can put pregnant women at an increased risk for miscarriage, and some cases can lead to sterility in men.
“About 10 per cent of cases will go on to develop meningitis,” Salvaterra said. “People can lose their hearing, and it can be permanent.”
There is a vaccine for mumps, though Salvaterra said there are many people who may not have received a full dose of the vaccine.
Today, children get two rounds of vaccination before starting school.
But Salvaterra said there is a generation that only got one dose, which puts them at risk of contracting the virus.
“So check to make sure you’ve had two doses,” Salvaterra said. “If you’ve had two doses, you’ve done the best possible thing to protect yourself, and about 88 per cent of those people will be protected.”
Anyone who doesn’t have the mumps vaccine is encouraged to call their health-care provider or visit the health unit.