Photo courtesy: Vancouver Canucks

Canucks checked for mumps

VCH Public Health has been working with the Vancouver Canucks on a mumps outbreak. Several Canucks players and staff, and others in the community have been confirmed with having the highly contagious viral illness.

The Canucks announced last week that several players and staff were ill. Troy Stecher, Michael Chaput, Nikita Tryamkin and Christopher Tanev had the illness. Nurses screened and vaccinated players and staff, and looked into how the outbreak began.

“We have not been able to identify a specific exposure, but we think that the team was exposed at the same time, in early February,” says Dr. Réka Gustafson, medical health officer. “There has been mumps activity both locally and across North America in recent weeks.”

Vaccine effectiveness

The mumps vaccine is 88% effective in preventing illness after two doses, and 78% after one dose. Outbreaks can occur in immunized groups who live and work in close proximity–college campuses sports teams etc, but those outbreaks are much smaller if people are immunized.

“I didn’t have any symptoms,” says 22 year old Canucks defenceman Troy Stecher. “Thankfully the doctors said maybe the vaccination shots  when I was a kid kind of fought all of them. So I know you can feel sick and have dry mouth and drowsiness and no appetite, but I didn’t have any of that. I felt completely normal except for I had a fat face and was contagious. So honestly, it wasn’t the worst thing to go through but I know a lot of guys had it a lot worse than I did.”

For more info about the illness visit the VCH website.

2 comments

  1. Jen says:

    As far as I recall I only had one vaccine repeated, which was my tetanus shot in hightschool. Is the MMR vaccine automatically repeated like the Tetanus shot that gets done every 10yrs? If it’s not automatically repeated, should we be educating people to do so? Does it make a difference?? Is it something that would be covered or would people need to pay out of pocket like they do for the travel vaccines??

    1. Tiffany Akins says:

      Health care workers born 1957 and later require only two doses of MMR vaccine to ensure life time protection; If not already received, these two doses can be administered one month apart. Yes, these vaccines are publicly funded and can be obtained via family physician, public health or at a pharmacy. MMR immunization requirements for members of the public are as per below, and slightly different.

      How many doses the individual requires will depend on their age. If you were born between 1956 and 1970, one dose of MMR is sufficient. If you were born after 1970 you would need to have had two doses of MMR. The vaccine is not automatically repeated like Tetanus.
      MMR is publicly funded so if you need another dose, you would not have to pay for it.

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