Third case of mumps infection reported in Auckland since September, GPs are warned

By Martin Johnston

Swollen glands on a child with mumps. Photo / US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
Swollen glands on a child with mumps. Photo / US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

A third case of mumps infection has been reported in Auckland, following two last month.

Public health officials confirmed today they had been notified of three cases.

"Three confirmed cases of mumps have been notified in Auckland since mid-September 2016," the Auckland Regional Public Health Service said in an alert notice to GPs.

"Two of these cases acquired mumps from an overseas visitor. The third case contracted mumps from one of the original two cases while sharing a school classroom."

The notice added "... our aim is to quickly contain all mumps cases and their susceptible contacts to avoid community transmission".

Mount Albert Grammar School has told parents by email: "The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has been notified of a second confirmed case of mumps in a student from ... [the] school."

Headmaster Patrick Drumm strongly supported Public Health's recommendation that students stay off school until Tuesday - 25 days from the last day of term 3 - if they have had no or only one dose of measles/mumps/rubella vaccine, or have not had doctor-diagnosed mumps in the past.

"This is to prevent them contracting mumps and, if already infected, to prevent the infection spreading to others."

The email said students with mumps symptoms should stay off school until seen by a doctor. If diagnosed with the infection, a student would need to avoid school - and people outside the immediate family - for five days from the onset of facial swelling.

Nationally there were 13 cases of mumps reported last year, and 19 in 2014.

What is mumps?
• A infectious disease caused by a virus
• Spread by coughing and sneezing
• Can be prevented by two doses of MMR vaccine

Symptoms can include
• Fever
• Headache
• Swollen and tender salivary glands on the neck below the ear
• A third of cases in children have no symptoms

Possible complications (more common in adults)
• Meningitis
• Deafness
• Inflamed testicles and ovaries
• Infertility in infected men ( but only very rarely)

- NZ Herald

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