The province is asking residents to be on the lookout for Mumps, as the viral disease has made appearances throughout western Canada this winter.
It has hit hockey teams particularly hard in the NHL and WHL, forcing the leagues to take precautions.
The Regina Pats have been forced to cancel all fan interaction until further notice, while the league has informed teams to check player vaccination history and clean locker rooms and workout areas.
Even though there has yet to be a case in Saskatchewan this year, Dr. Denise Werker the provinces Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer said there is a good chance they will see cases in the province, as the disease can spread fairly easily.
“Mumps is spread by droplets, so it is the saliva that is infectious, so that means things where saliva can touch, which is one of the things with hockey, the players share water bottles or they are in close contact and that can cause infection,” Dr. Werker said at a news conference on Tuesday.
She also said early symptoms can make it hard to detect that you indeed have the mumps.
“Signs of mumps can start very non-descriptive with a fever, headache and feeling generally just unwell with low energy and muscle aches, but the hallmark sign and symptom of mumps is swelling of the Parotid gland,” Werker said.
The Parotid gland is located on both sides of the mouth in humans.
Werker said those who have had the mumps in the past are generally immune to the disease, she also said that it takes two vaccinations before a person is protected and encourages everyone to either get vaccinated or make sure they have received a mumps vaccination in the past.
If you suspect you have the mumps the province is also asking you call ahead before you seek treatment so proper precautions can be taken.
“We don’t want people who are infectious sitting in doctors offices, crowded emergency departments or waiting rooms, phone ahead so you can be seen in a safe way where infectious control precautions can be taken,” Werker added.
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