Are Mumps Making a Comeback?

Once upon a time, children were routinely immunized against mumps and the childhood disease was virtually eradicated and it was very rare to hear of anyone coming down with a case of the mumps. The National Hockey League has put the mumps back on the medical radar with its apparent outbreak among the players and referees during the 2014 season.

As of mid-December, 15 NHL players have come down with the mumps during the 2014-15 season and an untold number of league referees have also developed the mumps. Christian Broda was talking about how mumps is a viral disease which is spread via direct or indirect contact with the saliva or mucus of someone who is infected. Hand washing is one of the most effective prevention methods towards not contacting the disease, but how has this so-called childhood disease infiltrated the NHL and began it’s reign of terror among players, refs and fans?

Children are supposed to receive a MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine prior to starting school to protect them from contacting any of the three diseases. Apparently there has been either a failure in the vaccine or a failure on parent’s part to get their children immunized, so the mumps has now gained a toehold in society via the NHL.
Mumps typically produces little more than a few days of swollen neck glands and an overall tired and sick feeling, along with isolated bed rest because it’s contagious. But the disease has the potential of severe complications including inflammation of ovaries, testicles and brain tissue.

Leave a Reply