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Auckland has had at least 92 cases of mumps since the start of 2017, with most arising in West Auckland. Those affected have been between 5 months and 51 years of age, with over half occurring among students aged 10 to 19 years.

What is Mumps?

Mumps on Vimeo

• Mumps is an infectious disease caused by the mumps virus, which causes swelling in the glands around the face.
• It is spread through the air by breathing, coughing and sneezing.
• It can also be spread through contact with infected saliva – e.g. kissing, sharing food, touching a dirty tissue, door handle, or computer keyboard.
• In the past, mumps infection was common in childhood but it is now uncommon in Auckland due to immunisation.
• The best way to prevent mumps is to have had at least two doses of the MMR vaccine which provides prevention against Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

What are the symptoms of Mumps?
• Some people have very mild or no symptoms and may not be aware that they have mumps.
• Early symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. After two days the salivary glands on one or both sides of the face, cheeks or jaw may become swollen and sore.
• If you’ve caught mumps, it usually takes about 12 days before you get sick, but can take as long as 25 days.
• Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.
• As mumps is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not treat this infection.
• Someone with mumps is infectious from 1 week before swelling appears until 5 days after swelling develops. If a child has mumps they should be kept home from school or early childhood services for 5 days after swelling develops.
• Mumps can sometimes lead to serious complications such as inflammation of the surrounding tissues of the brain (meningitis 15%), testicles (20% youth and adult males), and ovaries (5% youth and adult females). In rare cases, mumps can affect fertility. Deafness can occur among 1 in 15,000 mumps cases, and there is an increased risk of first trimester miscarriage.

Who is at risk of getting Mumps?
• People who were born after 01 January 1982, and have not had two doses of mumps vaccine after their first birthday, or who have not had the mumps infection.
• Anyone with a weakened immune system, for example people who are receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer, or people who take high-dose steroid medication.
• Unimmunised pregnant women should not be vaccinated. However their family and close contacts should be immunised to protect the pregnant mother and her unborn baby.

If you suspect you/your child is sick with mumps, phone your GP or HEALTHLINE on 0800 611 116.

For more information on mumps – please see:
• Auckland Regional Public Health Service -  (external link)
• Ministry of Health - (external link)

For more information on immunisation, please call the Immunisation Advisory Centre on 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) or visit their website link).

This information has been sourced from ARPHS and the MOH.