News / Winnipeg

Mumps outbreak cancels evacuees’ trip to Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice

A Manitoba Health official said so far there is one lab-confirmed case of mumps in a shelter housing evacuees, in Brandon, Man.

More than 500 evacuees fleeing wildfires in Manitoba communities Wasagamack, St. Theresa Point and Garden Hill First Nations had been scheduled to watch a Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice at Investors Group Field, but that event was cancelled Thursday.

Drew Edwards / The Hamilton Spectator

More than 500 evacuees fleeing wildfires in Manitoba communities Wasagamack, St. Theresa Point and Garden Hill First Nations had been scheduled to watch a Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice at Investors Group Field, but that event was cancelled Thursday.

Hundreds of northern Manitoba evacuees were set to watch the Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice on Thursday, but a mumps outbreak postponed their visit.

Dr. Richard Rusk, the province's medical officer of health, said there has been one lab-confirmed case of mumps reported in a shelter housing evacuees in Brandon, Manitoba.

At this time, there are no lab-confirmed cases related to Winnipeg shelters. However, there are four suspected cases.

Manitoba is in the midst of a province-wide outbreak of the mumps. There were 853 confirmed cases of mumps reported to Manitoba Health between Sept. 1, 2016 and Aug. 31, 2017.

While vaccination rates are generally higher in northern Manitoba, the province is also providing vaccinations for those with symptoms who haven't already had the mumps vaccine, an official from Manitoba Health said, adding that provincial public health officials have shared information with the Red Cross about steps to take to reduce the risk of mumps cases, as well as other communicable diseases.

More than 500 people fleeing wildfires in Wasagamack, St. Theresa Point and Garden Hill had been scheduled to visit Investors Group Field, eat lunch on the concourse and have a meet-and-greet with Bombers players after the practice.

“We are incredibly disappointed we cannot host the evacuees who have been displaced from their homes. However, the safety of guests, fans, and players is the top priority of the Winnipeg Football Club when hosting events at the stadium,” stated a press release from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. 

Those guests are now invited to upcoming Bomber home games on Sept. 22 and Oct. 28, with a player meet-and-greet following each game.

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