Fifth case of the mumps dis­cov­ered

Manawatu Standard - - News - JA­NINE RANKIN

A fifth case of mumps in six weeks has been con­firmed in the Mid­cen­tral District Health Board re­gion.

The pa­tient is in iso­la­tion and Pub­lic Health Ser­vices staff are work­ing with those the per­son had come into con­tact with to re­duce the risk of the highly in­fec­tious ill­ness spread­ing fur­ther.

Med­i­cal of­fi­cer of health Rob Weir said many ar­eas around New Zealand were re­port­ing an in­crease in cases of mumps, with 692 cases between Septem­ber 2016 and Oc­to­ber 4.

A clus­ter of 10 cases in Dunedin in Au­gust prompted Otago ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions’ stu­dent health team to pro­mote free booster shots of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vac­cine among stu­dents.

But so far, no par­tic­u­lar age group had emerged as be­ing more at risk in the Mid­cen­tral re­gion.

Weir said those af­fected came from a broad range of ages.

Na­tion­ally, 42 per cent of cases had been among 10- to 17-year-olds, and 30.2 per cent among 20- to 25-year-olds.

Massey Univer­sity spokesman James Gar­diner said Stu­dent Health was alerted to re­ports of the first cases in Au­gust.

‘‘But there were no known cases among stu­dents, so they took no fur­ther steps.’’

If there was any in­di­ca­tion stu­dents were af­fected, the health team would act to en­sure they knew what help was avail­able, pro­vide ad­vice on how to keep them­selves safe from in­fec­tion, and help with quar­an­tine if nec­es­sary.

The symp­toms of mumps in­cluded painful swelling of the face, fever and headaches.

Weir said most peo­ple re­cov­ered af­ter seven to 10 days with­out problems, but there could be se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions.

Those problems could in­clude in­flam­ma­tion of tis­sue sur­round­ing the brain, in­flamed tes­ti­cles or ovaries, and deaf­ness.

The best pro­tec­tion against the ill­ness was the MMR vac­cine.

Peo­ple who were un­sure whether they had been vac­ci­nated were ad­vised to check with their prac­tice nurse.

Weir said given the in­creas­ing num­ber of cases of mumps in the com­mu­nity, any­one who showed likely symp­toms should as­sume that was what they had.

It was im­por­tant for peo­ple to isolate them­selves at home to re­duce the risk of pass­ing it to oth­ers.

Pa­tients should con­tact their doc­tor and ar­range an ap­point­ment rather than just turn up in a wait­ing room.

Do­ing this could in­fect other peo­ple.

Health­line could also pro­vide ad­vice.

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