Published Monday 4 Sep 2017

We are experiencing an increase in the number of people who have contracted mumps. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 13 people confirmed with mumps in the greater Wellington region. 85% of these people with mumps are aged between 10-29 years.

Mumps is an acute viral illness. Symptoms typically include swollen, sore salivary glands with a mild fever, pain in the jaw and a headache. For some people, it can cause severe symptoms and, rarely, complications that may lead to deafness or infertility in adult men.

The best prevention against mumps is immunisation. Immunisation is free and consists of two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine given at 15 months of age and 4 years of age.

Regional Public Health’s advice is for everyone to check with their family doctor to find out if they have been given two doses of the MMR vaccine. This is particularly important for Pacific people who grew up in countries that only offer measles and rubella vaccine (MR) not MMR. People who grew up in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu will not have been vaccinated against mumps.If in doubt, talk to your family doctor and get vaccinated.

If you suspect you may have mumps contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free advice from a registered nurse. For questions about vaccination call the Immunisation Advisory Centre on 0800 Immune.

Further information is available here.