The number of lab-confirmed mumps cases recorded this year in the Edmonton zone climbed to nine on Thursday.
That number is up by three since Wednesday. On March 1, the number of confirmed cases so far in 2017 was six in the Edmonton region and four in the Calgary area.
On Thursday, Alberta Health Services revised the number of Calgary cases to three, explaining one was removed because the patient is not an Alberta resident.
Mumps outbreaks have been declared in the south zone, where there are nine cases, and at the University of Alberta, where there are four, AHS said.
As of Thursday, a total of 21 cases of mumps have been confirmed across the province in 2017, the new AHS mumps website reads.
Last week, the University of Alberta said four of the cases involved students enrolled in the School of Business and they were all linked.
The advisory at the U of A came after nine cases of mumps were reported in southern Alberta, after exposure to the virus from some players for the Medicine Hat Tigers, a team in the Western Hockey League.
Mumps is a highly contagious viral infection. It has an incubation period of about two weeks. After that, the symptoms will kick in: fever, headache or earache, tiredness, sore muscles, dry mouth, and the trademark puffy cheeks and neck — known as parotitis.
The mumps virus is found in saliva and respiratory droplets and is spread through coughing, sneezing and coming into contact with saliva by kissing, sharing drinks, utensils, food or water bottles.
Mumps usually goes away in about 10 days, but, in some cases, it can cause complications that affect the brain, the testicles, the ovaries, or the pancreas.
The increase in cases has prompted both Hockey Calgary and Hockey Alberta to temporarily halt handshakes. It also recommended players not share water bottles.
With files from Carmen Chai and Karen Bartko, Global News
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