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.
We have seen 15 probable or confirmed cases of mumps in the first six months of 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 doctor on evenings or weekends, make sure you are signed up to the DHB’s FREE online doctor service SmartHealth – SmartHealth.org.nz.