Northland DHB are appealing to Northland parents to ensure their family is up to date with Immunisations after confirmed cases of Mumps and Pertussis (Whooping Cough) in the region.
Northland DHB have been notified of eight confirmed cases of mumps in school aged children from the Dargaville community.
These confirmed now bring the number of notifications for the Northland Region to 24 this year – compared with six in 2016 and three in 2015.
With the school holiday period approaching and the current Mumps outbreak in Auckland, it is especially important for people under the age of 35, and for parents to check your family’s vaccination status.
Mumps has recently gained attention internationally with members of the All Black squad contracting mumps, Medical Officer of Health Dr Virginia McLaughlin says this also highlights the importance of ensuring vaccines are up to date for young adults (up to 29 years of age).
“Vaccination is the best protection against mumps. If you or your children have not had their recommended number of MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccinations, it is strongly recommended that you get these up to date.
“Contact your doctor or practice nurse if you are unsure whether you or your family has been vaccinated, and book in vaccination if they haven’t.”
Mumps can cause swelling in the glands around the face and can lead to meningitis in about 1 in 10 people. Mumps is spread through the air by breathing, coughing and sneezing, or through contact with infected saliva (i.e. kissing, sharing food and drink).
“If you think you have mumps, please exclude from school or work and phone ahead to your GP, so that you are not sitting in the waiting room.
“Wash your hands and cover your mouth when you cough. You can also contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice from a registered nurse, 24 hours a day.”
Dr McLaughlin also confirmed an increase in notified cases of pertussis in Northland, with 48 notifications this year compared to 9 in 2016 and 36 in 2015.
Whooping cough can be a very serious illness for babies and children, especially under 1 year of age.
There have been 25 notified cases of pertussis in Ngunguru, with others throughout the region. A baby was admitted to hospital for treatment and has made a good recovery.
This gives us an opportunity to check immunisation status for both pertussis and mumps. By doing this as individuals we can protect those most at risk in our community. Don’t delay; check your immunisation status today!
Pain in the jaw, fever, headache, swelling of the glands around the face. If you have caught mumps, it usually takes between 12 and 25 days before you get sick. You’ll be infectious from one week before the swelling appears until five days after.
The best protection against mumps is the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two doses of MMR vaccine protect about 85% of people. The MMR vaccine is part of the NZ Immunisation Schedule and is give at 15 months and 4 years of age.
For questions about vaccination call the Immunisation Advisory Centre on 0800 Immune.