Public health follow up of mumps cases

Press Release – Toi Te Ora

Public health follow up of mumps cases

Toi Te Ora Public Health, the public health service for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts, has been notified of several mumps cases at the Fire and Emergency New Zealand National Training Centre in Rotorua.

“Public Health has followed up close contacts of these cases and immunisation has been recommended for those who need it,” says Dr Natasha Murray, Medical Officer of Health.

There is an ongoing mumps outbreak, mostly in the Auckland region and affecting some other parts of New Zealand. In the last month, there have been 13 mumps cases notified in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts.

“Immunisation with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best protection against mumps – and it also protects against measles and rubella,” says Dr Murray. MMR is recommended and free for anyone born from 1 January 1969 and is routinely given to children at 15 months and 4 years of age.

“We strongly recommend that everyone in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes communities checks whether they have received two doses of MMR vaccine. If you’re not up to date, please visit your family doctor to get immunised. MMR is free for anyone who needs it,” says Dr Murray.

Teenagers and young adults aged 12 to 29 are at greatest risk of catching mumps because, due to changes in our national immunisation schedule, they may not have been fully immunised as children. If you’re not sure whether you or your family are up to date with immunisations, please contact your family doctor to check.

Mumps is very infectious and spreads from person to person by coughing and sneezing, or through contact with infected saliva, such as sharing food and drink. If you have caught mumps, symptoms usually appear 2 to 3 weeks after contact with someone who is infectious. Symptoms can include fever, headache and swelling over the cheek or jaw area on one or both sides of the face. It is usually a mild illness that lasts about one week, but can have serious complications. If you think you have symptoms of mumps, please stay at home and phone your family doctor, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

For more information about mumps visit www.toiteora.govt.nz/mumps

ENDS

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