Patrik Elias among latest players diagnosed with mumps

The mumps continues to run rampant across the NHL, with several more players being diagnosed with the highly contagious disease.

Caused by the mumps virus, mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of salivary glands. Anyone who is not immune fpatrik-eliasjpg-fb0946e2f67f0706rom either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.

Patrik Elias and Michael Ryder of the New Jersey Devils were the two most recent cases confirmed by the club, in addition to Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson, both of whom were previously diagnosed.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Steve Downie and backup netminder Thomas Greiss were also diagnosed with mumps, this news coming just weeks after forward Sidney Crosby was confirmed to have the disease.

The league has confirmed 21 cases, with affected teams including Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Minnesota, Anaheim and the New York Rangers. It’s possible that more players have been diagnosed with the disease but have not been as forthcoming with their diagnosis.

The mumps spreads via respiratory droplets, such as coughing or sneezing. The two-shot vaccine is 88 percent effective, and most teams have given their players booster shots. The incubation period for the disease averages 16-18 days, with symptoms including a fever, headache, fatigue, muscle ache, loss of appetite and swelling of the cheeks and throat.

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