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Are you protected from mumps?

Mumps is an acute viral illness. Until recently only a few cases occur each year in New Zealand. In the Waikato there have been 15 probable or confirmed cases of mumps in the first six months of this year. Previously we had not seen any cases since 2012. 

The Auckland region continues to experience an outbreak of mumps with 187 confirmed cases reported by the end of July 2017. Cases have also now been reported in the Wellington region.

Children and young people are particularly at risk

All children in New Zealand can be immunised against mumps as part of their free childhood immunisations at 15 months and 4 years old.

It's important to protect children from mumps by getting them immunised on time.

They're not protected until they've had both doses.

Low vaccination rates are fueling Auckland's mumps outbreak. If you are in doubt if you or your children are protected against mumps please check your vaccination records with your GP.

Symptoms and spread

Mumps causes swelling in the glands around the face. The primary sign of mumps is swollen salivary glands. Other symptoms include headache, muscle aches, fever, pain in the jaw and fatigue. It can lead to meningitis in about 1 in 10 people.

Mumps is spread through the air by breathing, coughing and sneezing, or through contact with infected saliva (such as by sharing food and drink).

If you've caught mumps, it usually takes 12-25 days before you get sick. You'll be infectious from one week before swelling appears until five days after.

If you are concerned about mumps outside of the opening hours of your medical practice please call Healthline for advice on 0800 611 116. Healthline has translation services, and are available 24/7. 

More information

Thank you to the Waikato DHB for the image on this page.

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