Source: Radio New Zealand,3 January 2018
The current mumps epidemic in New Zealand has infected a total
of 1070 people, with new figures showing 25 were diagnosed over the
Auckland health leaders in December said the outbreak had
reached epidemic levels, and urged a national response to help slow
It was mostly people aged between 11 and 29 who had been
affected by the disease, with low immunisations across that age
Auckland Regional Public Health service today released the
updated figures on the outbreak, which began last year.
Clinical director Julia Peters said most people could recover,
but in a few cases could develop rare complications.
Dr Peters urged parents to check with their GP to ensure their
families' measles, mumps, and rubella vaccinations were up to
She previously warned the outbreak was likely to continue for
two years, but said a nationwide vaccination programme could reduce
cases by a third.
A senior lecturer in vaccinology at Auckland University, Helen
Petousis-Harris, said even if people had been vaccinated, they
could still be at risk down the line.
"Over time, even those people who have had two doses of vaccines
- their protection willprobably start to wane maybe after 10 or 15
years, so some of those people will start to become susceptible to
She said people should check when they last got their
About 1.3 million New Zealanders are aged 10 to 29 and if the
estimate that 40 percent are not fully vaccinated is correct, that
would mean 570,000 are susceptible to mumps.
Auckland has been the most affected area, but cases have also
been reported in
Mumps is caused by a virus which can spread when an infected
person coughs or sneezes, or passes it on through their saliva when
kissing or sharing food and drink. Antibiotics will not treat the
infection or prevent spread.
Complications can include meningitis or encephalitis, with young
children most at risk.
A person with mumps is considered infectious from two days
before facial swelling symptoms until five days after.