The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) announced today that since the beginning of the year, they have received 39 notifications of mumps, with most arising in West Auckland.

Mumps virus/CDC
Mumps virus/CDC

The age range of affected persons is 5 months to 51 years with over half occurring among students aged 10 to 19 years.

In a letter to providers in mid-March, ARPHS writes cases have been diagnosed after travel to Fiji, Tuvalu and Japan where childhood vaccinations may not have included the mumps. More recent cases have been diagnosed in a local school and a major containment strategy is underway to control the spread of mumps.

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Symptoms of mumps to watch out for include sore and swollen areas under the jaw/around the face, usually accompanied or preceded by fever, muscle soreness, poor appetite, fatigue and headache.

The best prevention against mumps is immunization with 2 doses of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR). Vaccination is free.