Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mumps in the NHL

In one of the more unique mumps outbreak this year, professional hockey players from the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild came down with this paramyxovirus that causes fever, achiness, swollen salivary glands, headache, and, in some rare cases, orchitis.  While the virus is transmitted respiratorily via secretions and aerosol, one of the Minnesota players, Eric Staal, “wondered of the potential danger of players rubbing gloves against teammates' faces during the celebration” of a win earlier in the season.

This is not the first time that the National Hockey League has had a mumps outbreak.  The last one occurred during the 2014-2015 season (shout out to Nalani W. for covering it on the blog on 12/1/2014).  After the last outbreak, members of the Wild were offered MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) booster vaccines.  This time, the same prevention strategy was offered, along with sequestering those who were infected, thoroughly sanitizing equipment and uniforms, providing everyone with their own water bottles, and encouraging everyone to wash their hands routinely.  

Though, this is not the only mumps outbreak in the US.  Other ongoing mumps outbreaks include one in western Washington, several in the Midwest (Arkansas, Missouri, among others), and a few at colleges such as Penn State and SUNY New Paltz.  From the start of the new year to February 25th, over 1000 cases of mumps have been reported to the CDC.

- Devon Z.

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