Mumps – Outbreak in the National Hockey League (NHL)

Since October 2014, there have been over 20 NHL players diagnosed or suspected of having mumps including star player Sidney Crosby from the Pittsburgh Penguins. According to the CDC, since 2010 there have been over 15 outbreaks of mumps each involving at least 20 cases. Check out the article below from The New York Times and a quick summary of mumps from the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide:

The Mumps, a Scourge of Dormitories, Spreads Through the N.H.L.

  • Caused by the paramyxocirus (Rubulavirus) and spread by respiratory transmission or exposure to oral secretions with symptom onset 12-25 days post exposure
  • Patients contagious up to 6 days prior to symptoms and 10 days after symptom resolution
  • Most cases ages 5-14 years old but increasing rates in young adults/college students
  • Typical symptoms: low grade fever, malaise, headache, anorexia, cough, parotiditis (salivary gland swlling)
  • Adolescent and adult males may experience testicular pain/orchitis
  • Serious complications: encephalitis, ovarian inflammation, deafness, pancreatitis
  • Diagnosis: Serology tests available including antibody titers but viral cultures/PCR may need to be processed at health departments including CDC as it may not be commercially available
  • Treatment: Symptom duration usually 10-14 days, supportive treatment including NSAID’s
  • Prevention:
    • Adults born prior to 1957 considered immune
    • Typically MMR used but MMRV (MMR+varicella) also available
    • Routine infant immunization: 12-15 months, 2nd dose at 4-6 years but no later than 11-12 years
    • Durability of immune response: Detectable antibodies in 74-95% of 2-dose recepients at 12 years
    • MMR re-vaccination recommended for travelers in high risk groups including college students, healthcare workers, military personnel, pregnant women