Govt to improve immunisation following mumps outbreak

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Health Minister Joe Phaahla says they are looking at improving immunisation following the outbreak of mumps.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has confirmed the outbreak after a sharp increase in positive cases were recorded in three provinces.

Most positive cases were found in children between the ages of four and nine years-old.

According to the NICD, “Mumps is an acute viral infection caused by the rubulavirus, also known as mumps virus. It is sometimes called ‘infectious parotitis’, as it causes painful swelling of the parotid and or salivary glands. Mumps is generally a mild childhood disease, mostly affecting children between 5-9 years of age. However, younger and older children as well as adults, can become infected with mumps. People who have had mumps are usually protected for life against another mumps infection. However, second occurrences of mumps do rarely occur.”

Phaahla says there’s no need to panic.

“Clearly this suggests that after such as long time that we have not had any outbreak of mumps, it means the necessary immunisation did not take place in some of the areas. So, we will be looking into our vaccination stocks and make sure that vaccinations can be improved. Mumps ordinarily unless someone has other complications is not a fatal disease it can be managed.”