MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Wild fans hoping to see Ryan Suter in action Wednesday night got some disappointing news.

Suter had played 153 consecutive games with the Wild, but was held out Wednesday because of “mump-like” symptoms.

He’s likely the fifth Wild player to get the illness this year.

The Wild aren’t alone in this battle against the mumps.

At least three other NHL teams have seen players miss time with symptoms.

The viral illness has gone on its own power play against the Wild, with Jonas Brodin, Keith Ballard, Marco Scandella and Christian Folin also affected.

Symptoms are fatigue, body aches, a fever and, perhaps what it’s best known for, swelling of the salivary glands.

“Even though you look like a chipmunk you’re not having a good time with mumps,” Kris Ehresmann said.

Ehresmann is the director for infectious disease at the Minnesota Department of Health.

She said babies receive a measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine after they turn one.

But it’s more effective for measles.

“With measles we have about 95- 98 percent protection. But with mumps, it’s more like 80-85 percent,” Ehresmann said.

Today, kids receive a second dose before kindergarten. But many adults missed out on that.

“I’m guessing for a lot of people, they haven’t had a second dose,” Ehresmann said.

Mumps spread through contact with “respiratory secretions.”

A simple cough or sneeze by someone infected can send mumps to someone who isn’t properly vaccinated.

On a hockey team it can spread quickly.

“They’re together a lot. They are in the locker room. They travel and they share water bottles, likely. So, all those things make them a bit more likely to acquire mumps,” Ehresmann said.

The Department of Health said they only see a handful of mumps cases each year.

About 40 percent of people who do get mumps develop swelling in the neck.

It’s not deadly, but it can turn serious if you don’t get rest.

Some people have developed a form of meningitis with mumps.

You have to rest and it has to run its course.

One Wild player, Jonas Brodin, missed seven games with the mumps this year.

John Lauritsen

Comments (6)