Remember mumps these school holidays
Andrew Lindsay, Medical Officer of Health with the Nelson
Marlborough Public Health Service, has issued a reminder to
GPs and other healthcare professionals in the region to be
alert to mumps.
While there are no current cases of mumps
in the region, there were three cases in August and a mumps
outbreak is ongoing in Auckland.
Dr Lindsay says that
with school holiday-related travel involving people from, or
locals returning from, other parts of New Zealand and
overseas where mumps is present, it is possible that
imported cases may appear in our district.
“Most of the
cases of mumps we’ve had so far this year were imported
from outside Nelson and Marlborough. Primary care and public
health efforts have limited the spread of the disease and
prevented it from gaining a foothold in the district – so
far,” Dr Lindsay says.
He encourages young people to
check that they are fully vaccinated against mumps, and for
parents to check that their children are up to date.
“Immunisation remains the best way to prevent mumps.
Adolescents aged 10-19 and 20-29 year olds are the most
affected age groups in NZ at present.”
Mumps causes fever, headaches and
pain in the jaw. Swelling may then develop in the glands in
front of the ear and some males may experience swelling of
their testes. Very young children infected with mumps may
have no symptoms but they will still spread the disease if
they have it.
If you suspect you have mumps, talk
to your doctor or practice nurse
Mumps is very
contagious. If you have any symptoms, contact your doctor or
practice nurse for advice and limit your contact with other
people. This means staying away from the workplace, early
childhood centres, schools and other places where you may
expose others to the virus.
Check your family’s
Vaccination is the best
protection against mumps. If you or your children have not
had their recommended number of MMR (Measles Mumps and
Rubella) vaccinations, it is strongly recommended that you
get these up to date.
Contact your doctor or practice
nurse if you are unsure whether you or your family has been
vaccinated, and book in vaccination if they
Information about mumps
More information about mumps, how the disease
spreads, and mumps vaccination is available online at:
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