The Wild is at the center of another mumps outbreak in the NHL. Zach Parise and Jason Pominville missed Monday night’s game and will sit out at least two more games after being placed in isolation for five days.
This is the second time in three seasons Wild players have been diagnosed with the virus. So what is the mumps and why is it an issue in the NHL?
Here are five things you should know:
-- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention describes the mumps as “a contagious disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. You can protect yourself and your family against mumps with vaccination.”
-- The Mayo Clinic warns that mumps "spreads easily from person to person through infected saliva. If you're not immune, you can contract mumps by breathing in saliva droplets of an infected person who has just sneezed or coughed. You can also contract mumps from sharing utensils or cups with someone who has mumps." Though mumps is no longer very common in the United States, outbreaks do occur, mostly likely among people in close contact, for example a sports team sharing a locker room or players sharing water bottles.
There is no treatment for the virus and it generally takes 7-10 days to run its course. Symptoms are displayed 12-25 days after the infection and one in five people with the virus never show signs of the disease. In 2014, infected Wild players missed as much as three weeks and as little as one game.
-- Defensemen Ryan Suter, Marco Scandella, Jonas Brodin, Christian Folin and Keith Ballard all got the mumps during the 2014 outbreak. At least 23 players on six teams and two officials across the league were diagnosed. At the time, Parise jokingly said of the illness that seemed to only affect defensemen, “What is this, the Oregon Trail? Every team seems to get the flu once a year, but the mumps?”
-- First-year Wild coach Bruce Boudreau has experience coaching a team with the mumps. His former team, the Anaheim Ducks, had four players infected in 2014. He said at the time, “It’s crazy,” and kiddingly wondered if there’d be any hitting by players “afraid to get anything on them.”
-- Wild beat writer Michael Russo reported members of the organization with symptoms are being tested immediately and placed in isolation for five days. Doctors recently provided players and staff a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and the organization will continue to work closely with the NHL, NHLPA and the Minnesota Department of Health. All Wild players, coaches and staff were offered vaccine shots in 2014 and equipment trainers sanitized all equipment and provided players with individual water bottles. Parise and Pominville were among those who got shots, General Manager Chuck Fletcher said.
The blog "Pass it to Bulls" covering the Vancouver Canucks, which also has several players dealing with the mumps, had a little fun considering why the virus continues to be an issue in the NHL:
Possible reasons for mumps outbreak in NHL:— Pass it to Bulis (@passittobulis) February 28, 2017
1. Improper screening of symptoms
2. Not cleaning equipment
3. Passionate kisses pic.twitter.com/LVUGjnSeQL