Waikato is experiencing a surge in the number of cases of mumps we are seeing and our Medical Officer of Health is urging parents to ensure their children’s vaccines are up to date.
Most at risk are our young population and adolescents and it is important that people infected with mumps should isolate themselves so the virus is not passed onto others.
We have seen 75 confirmed cases of mumps in the region this year. Previously we had not seen any cases since 2012.
Mumps is spread through coughing and sneezing and through direct contact with infected saliva. The primary sign of mumps is swollen salivary glands. Other symptoms include headache, muscle aches, fever, pain in the jaw and fatigue. Mumps is an acute viral illness and there is more risk of getting mumps at the moment if you are not immune. Children and young people are particularly at risk.
The best prevention is to have had two MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccines. If in doubt, check your vaccination record with your GP. It’s free.
People with coughs, sneezes and fever should try not to spread it to others and stay home if sick.
If you are concerned and need to speak to a medical professional call Healthline on 0800 611 116 and if you want to speak to a doctor on evenings or weekends make sure you are signed up to the DHB’s FREE online doctor service SmartHealth – SmartHealth.org.nz.
For more information read Waikato Times article Mumps cases swell in Waikato.