Vancouver Coastal Health confirms three cases of mumps at Sauder, recommends vaccination

Three confirmed cases of mumps within the Bachelor of Commerce student population have been reported, according to a broadcast email from the Sauder undergraduate office.

The school was first informed of the possible mumps outbreak by a letter from a representative from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).

UBC Student Health Services (SHS) has also posted a PSA on its website, warning students of “the increase of mumps cases around Vancouver.

“We’ve known about the mumps outbreak for a few weeks now ... so our nursing staff work very closely with [BC Centre for Disease Control],” said Dr. Marna Nelson, director of SHS.

“They try to notify everyone so there’s been notification about it ... We have someone at communications who communicates that as well, and we’re counting on you to spread the word!”

According to the letter from VCH, mumps can be transmitted through close contact or saliva. With a possible 16 to 18 days incubation period, the virus can then manifest as fever, aches and swelling of the salivary glands.

The letter then stresses the importance of getting vaccinated for mumps in order to prevent future contraction. SHS reiterated this message by encouraging students to get two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which are accessible through the service via appointment.

“Usually it takes a little bit of time to move through an outbreak like this and that’s because it spreads from one person to another,” said Nelson. “[Because of the incubation period], you could have some other people have mumps a couple weeks later so the way to get a handle on it is to make sure everyone gets their second dose of vaccine and then we stop the outbreak.”

It is also recommended by VCH that people who think they have mumps should “stay home from work and social events.”

This article has been updated to include comments from UBC.