Brampton - No one wants to spend 10 days in isolation being sick with a disease that can be easily prevented through vaccination. That's why students at Sheridan College in Brampton and the University of Toronto, Mississauga campus (UTM), will be offered free mumps vaccination catch-up clinics on campus.
Mumps is a viral illness that cannot be treated with antibiotics. Individuals infected with mumps cannot attend school or work for up to 10 days to avoid spreading the virus to others.
To be fully protected from contracting mumps, two doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine are required. College and university students are particularly at risk for contracting mumps because they may not have received a second dose of MMR and because they tend to gather frequently in social settings. Most people born between 1970 and 1991 received only a single dose of MMR vaccine.
"There have been several recent outbreaks of mumps in Canada, many of which occurred on college and university campuses. To prevent future outbreaks, we encourage all individuals born after 1970 to check their immunization records and get a second dose of MMR. If you don't know your immunization status, get the vaccine," says Dr. Eileen de Villa, Associate Medical Officer of Health.
Clinics offered at Sheridan College and UTM are for students at these post-secondary institutions only. Individuals can also get MMR vaccine at their doctor's office or at a walk-in clinic.
Clinic dates and times are as follows:
Sheridan College, Davis Campus in Brampton
- Monday, February 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., building "B" upper hallway near the Health Centre
- Thursday, February 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., building "B" upper hallway near the Health Centre
University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus
- Tuesday, February 24, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Student Centre, Room 250
- Wednesday, February 25, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Oscar Peterson Hall, Colman Commons
Students who attend other colleges or universities in Ontario should check the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Mumps website at www.health.gov.on.ca/cs/mumps/english/ for mumps clinics at their campuses.
Quick facts about mumps
- Mumps is a contagious disease that is spread from person-to-person through direct contact with respiratory droplets from the mouth or nose of an infected person. This can happen when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Mumps can also be spread through sharing drinks and kissing.
- Mumps is preventable by immunization. Symptoms, which usually last 10 days, include fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, tiredness, loss of appetite; followed by painful swelling of one or both salivary glands. Mumps can also have serious complications.
- The combined vaccine that protects against mumps is called MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. It is safe and effective in protecting against all three diseases.
For more information on mumps, visit www.health.gov.on.ca/cs/mumps/english/ or http://www.immunizepeel.ca/. You can also call Peel Public Health, Monday to Friday, from
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 905-799-7700. In Caledon, call toll free at 905-584-2216.