An outbreak of the Mumps virus has sidelined twenty professional hockey players in recent weeks. The virus has affected teams across the league, including players on the Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wilds, Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers and most recently Pittsburgh Penguins. Even two on-ice officials have been diagnosed with the disease. Mumps is typically a childhood ailment, that until a large scale vaccine program in 1967, 186,000 cases were reported each year. Though the current vaccine does not offer 100% protection, one dose is 80% effective. Patients suffering from Mumps usually present with swelling of the salivary glands, fever, headache, and loss of appetite.
According to experts at the Center for Disease Control it is not unusual to have a few hundred cases each year, but those typically occur on college campuses where young adults are living in close proximity. Officials at the National Hockey League are working closely with the CDC on updating players vaccines and laying out guidelines on personal hygiene in the hopes of minimizing the outbreak. Follow this link for more on the NHL Mumps Outbreak.