Hawke’s Bay health officials are urging parents to check their children’s immunisation status during the school holidays following a second case of mumps confirmed in Hastings.
Both cases are school-age children. The first case was a pupil from Waipukurau Primary School and the second notified case is a student from Hastings Girls High School.
Hawke’s Bay District Health Board medical officer of health, Dr Rachel Eyre, commended both schools 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.
“This second confirmed case shows us the Mumps virus is now circulating in Hawke’s Bay.
“When there are confirmed cases of Mumps in schools, anyone who has been exposed who does not have a record of Mumps immunisations, or has not had the infection, may need to be excluded from school/public areas for up to 25 days.”
Dr Eyre said the upcoming school holiday period provided an ideal opportunity 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 checks 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.”
For more information visit http://www.immune.org.nz/diseases/mumps