Mumps spikes v-ball squad

CHRIS KITCHING -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

Manitoba's first confirmed cases of mumps this year are members of Canada's men's volleyball team based in Winnipeg.

Chris Wolfenden, the national squad's starting libero, and left-side hitter Nicholas Cundy contracted the mumps during a four-day selection camp at the University of Manitoba the first week of May.

A student from Dalhousie University in Halifax became infected before he attended the tryouts and unknowingly passed it on to them.

In an effort to contain the illness, Cundy, 23, and Wolfenden, 29, have been quarantined and are not allowed to travel to FIVB World League matches or train with their teammates until they are cleared.

SYMPTOMS

"I think they've been pretty hit by not being able to compete with us," said head coach Glenn Hoag, whose team faced Finland in London, Ont., over the weekend and departs tomorrow for a pair of matches in Korea.

Wolfenden will miss that flight because he isn't allowed to leave his home before Thursday.

He will rejoin the team next week in Finland.

He said he developed symptoms -- swelling to his head and a fever -- May 22 and 23, the day his teammates flew to London.

"I feel pretty good now. I'm coming down from it," he said yesterday. "I don't think I had a major case of it. I didn't swell up too bad."

Hoag said he doesn't know when Cundy will return. He said all members of Canada's men's and women's teams have been tested for mumps.

Provincial medical officer of health Dr. Eilish Cleary said no additional patients have been identified in Manitoba since the first two cases were reported Friday.

"We do believe they were vaccinated in the past. If they were, it was possibly one dose," she said.

Four B.C. residents who attended volleyball events in Winnipeg -- the tryouts or an open tournament a week later -- may be infected, as well.

Manitoba Health has linked all six cases to the student who developed mumps in Nova Scotia, where more than 300 cases have been recorded since February. Manitoba averages zero to one case a year.

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The illness is spread through close contact or sharing of drinks, food or cigarettes.

"In terms of the public health threat, it's not a significant disease. We don't see it very often," said Cleary.

Infection lasts up to nine days after symptoms are observed, she said. Symptoms include swelling and pain in salivary glands, usually on both sides of the face, and fever. Encephalitis and meningitis can develop in extreme but rare cases.


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