We have new Families, Nannies and Educators registering every day...why don't you join us! It's Free!!
Critical Need to Know and Action
Mumps information from Ministry of Health
In the last five months there has been an increase in cases of mumps in New Zealand, with 20 cases reported between 1 September 2016 and 24 January 2017. This number is 2 - 3 times higher than for the same period in previous years.
Most of the cases have been from the Auckland region (13 cases). Other affected District Health Boards are in Rotorua and Taupo (Lakes) (3 cases), Capital and Coast (2 cases) and Canterbury and West Coast with 1 case each. It appears nearly half of these cases have been acquired overseas.
The age range of affected persons is 2 to 31 years, with approximately half the cases occurring in school-aged children and half in young adults.
Please note that mumps cases and susceptible contacts of mumps cases are being appropriately managed and spread has been limited at this stage.
There is however an increased risk of further outbreaks, particularly given the start of the year for Early Childhood Education (ECE) services me ngā kōhanga reo. We recommend you read the information below regarding the risks mumps may pose for children and adults.
Symptoms to watch out for
Symptoms of mumps include sore and swollen areas under the jaw, usually accompanied or preceded by fever, muscle soreness, poor appetite, fatigue and headache.
Prevention of mumps
The best prevention against mumps is immunisation with 2 doses of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR). Vaccination is free.
A child attending their ECE service or kōhanga reo while they are infectious with mumps (7 days before until 5 days after the swelling of the salivary gland(s)) is very likely to spread the disease to other children and adults who are not immune. Taking action before a mumps outbreak can minimise the impact or spread of the illness.
You can help stop mumps spreading in the community by:
1. Asking staff, educators, parents and caregivers to make sure that their immunisations and their children’s immunisations are up to date. If they are unsure, encourage them to check with their family doctor.
2. Maintaining your Immunisation Register to help identify children at risk and encourage parents to get their children immunised. This will enable public health officials to quickly identify those at risk should the need arise.
3. Encouraging staff and educators to check their immunisation records and get vaccinated if they are not already.
4. Informing staff, educators, parents and caregivers about the current mumps cases in your area.
5. Ensuring that people with mumps, and susceptible people who have been exposed to mumps, do not attend while they are infectious. Susceptible people include those born after 1981 who have not had a mumps infection or have not been fully vaccinated for their age.
With a confirmed case of mumps, the decision around excluding children or adults will be made by the Medical Health Officer.
If someone develops symptoms of mumps while at your ECE service or kōhanga reo, separate them from others while they are waiting to be taken home and call Healthline on 0800 611 116 as soon as possible for advice.
For further information, please consult the Ministry of health webpage on mumps (diseases and illnesses/mumps) or the Immunisation Advisory Centre webpage on mumps (vaccine preventable diseases/mumps) or contact the Public Health Unit for your area.