Authorities confirm Dunedin mumps outbreak Thursday, 24 August 2017

Source: Radio New Zealand, 24 August 2017

Public health authorities in Dunedin are dealing with a mumps outbreak in the city, with 12 confirmed cases in the past month.

The authorities said it is spreading and they are moving to vaccinate high-risk groups.

Public Health South said the outbreak was thought to be connected to flare-ups in Auckland and the Pacific as some people have become infected after returning from those areas.

As of yesterday, there have been 260 confirmed or probable cases of mumps in the Auckland region where an outbreak began early this year.

Southern District Health Board medical officer of health Naomi Gough said mumps was spreading in Dunedin.

"Rather than focusing on intense case-by-case investigations for all of those mumps notifications, because we know that it is now circulating through the community, what we're really focusing on is targeting those populations that we believe are at risk and vaccinating them to them becoming exposed to mumps."

She said the MMR vaccine was free for anyone who needed it, and there was no harm in having an extra dose if people were unsure.

Authorities said most Dunedin cases appear to be connected to the university and polytechnic student population.

Mumps is a highly infectious viral illness spread in the same way as colds and flu.

The MMR vaccine is free and authorities urge anyone unsure if they have been immunised to get it.