Mumps case notified: Parents urged to check immunisations

Hawke’s Bay health officials are urging parents to check their children’s immunisation status following three cases of mumps being confirmed in Hastings.
One child was a student from Hastings Boys High School and the other two cases are adults. Public health are continuing to follow up with a number of contacts and have advised health professionals to be on the alert for mumps.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board medical officer of health, Dr Rachel Eyre, commended Hastings Boys High School for working swiftly with health officials to ensure important health advice got out to all parents/caregivers and wider school communities.
“Mumps is a highly infections viral infection, spread by breathing, sneezing and coughing and can spread quickly among those who are not immune, particularly in schools,” said Dr Eyre.

Dr Eyre said this outbreak was a timely reminder for parents and carers to check their children were up-to-date with immunisations.

“It’s vitally important parents check their child’s immunisations are up-to-date and be aware that if your child is developing a fever or has swelling of the glands around the cheeks or jaw, to stay home and phone your doctor in the first instance, or Heathline on 0800 611 116.”

Dr Eyre said it was important people with suspected mumps stayed away from school, work or community gatherings until five days after swelling developed or until well, whichever was sooner.

“If you were born after 1981 and have never had mumps or mumps/MMR immunisation, you need to see your family doctor,” said Dr Eyre, adding that two documented doses was required to prove immunity.

“The sooner the free immunisation is given, the more likely it is to protect you.” Unvaccinated adolescents and adults are most at risk, and are more likely to experience severe mumps disease and complications

For more information visit http://www.immune.org.nz/diseases/mumps

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