In response to the recent spread of mumps in Whistler, Vancouver Coastal Health is hosting free vaccination clinics through the weekend at Shoppers Drug Mart. The clinic is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The vaccination is recommended for young adults born after 1970, whether they have been vaccinated or not. The vaccine in use before that time appears to be more permanent, while the vaccine introduced after 1970 may lose effect. People born before 1957 are considered immune because most likely they've already been exposed to the virus.
Almost two months after the original advisory went out regarding a resurgence of mumps in Whistler, Vancouver Coastal Health is continuing to track new cases.
Dr. Paul Martiquet, the medical health officer for VCH, confirmed on Tuesday that there were two new cases reported on Tuesday, April 19, which brings the total to 30 since the first five cases were reported.
The virus is also picking up speed. As of April 13, just 15 cases were reported.
This past weekend, VCH did an immunization blitz with roughly 230 people taking part. As well, there were clinics all week at the Whistler Health Care Centre from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., as well as additional clinics hosted by Whistler Blackcomb for their staff.
As an added precaution, people are warned to avoid sharing drinks, utensils, cigarettes, joints, or anything else that can spread saliva.
Mumps, or endemic parotitis, is a virus that often results in a painful swelling of saliva glands, although other symptoms are possible including testicular swelling, rashes and fever. The symptoms are not considered treatable, although it can cause infertility in men.
In rare cases it can lead to brain swelling, and in very rare cases that can lead to death.
There is no cure, and people with mump generally take painkillers and medications to bring down their fever while the virus runs its course.
There's also no way of knowing who's infected - up to 20 per cent of people infected with mumps won't show any of the common symptoms.
More information is posted at www.vch.ca.