wash hands often or use hand sanitizer do not share drinking glasses or eating utensils cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve Public health officials are investigating 120 cases of mumps across Nova Scotia, as of today, April 20. The outbreak continues in the Halifax Regional Municipality with sporadic cases in several other areas. The majority of cases remain in the 20-25 age group. “The increase in numbers is expected, especially with doctors looking more closely for mumps and more people becoming informed about symptoms,” said Dr. Shelly Sarwal, medical officer of health. The most common symptoms of mumps include fever, head and muscle aches, and swollen and tender glands at the angle of the jaw. Public health officials continue to encourage people to see their family doctor if they have symptoms. Mumps is spread by contact such as coughing, sneezing, sharing drinks and kissing. The virus can be spread for about seven days before symptoms appear, and up to nine days after. Dr. Sarwal stressed the importance of not going to school, work, any public places or participating in social activities during this period. All physicians are legally required to report cases of mumps to the local public health office to ensure public health officials are aware of cases and can follow up to see who else may have been exposed or infected. To avoid spreading mumps, or any other disease: For more information on mumps, visit www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/mumps.html .