Mumps in Schools and Tertiary Institutions

We’ve been alerted to an outbreak of mumps in the Auckland region by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service and we have several active cases at Unitec. The Health Service has sent us an information sheet to help staff and students recognise the symptoms of mumps and avoid catching or spreading the disease.

Mumps is highly contagious but can be prevented with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. 

Symptoms

If you have the following symptoms please see your Doctor for testing.  Make sure you notify the receptionist that you may have mumps when you make your appointment as you will need to be isolated when you arrive:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite 
  • swelling or soreness in the salivary glands on one or both sides of the face, cheeks or jaw after two days.

Most people recover from mumps however some individuals can develop rare complications. Men and adolescent boys can experience pain and swelling in their testicles, which in rare cases can result in infertility. Females can experience ovarian inflammation. For pregnant women there is risk of miscarriage in the first three months. In some people mumps can cause permanent hearing loss. In very few cases, mumps can lead to inflammation of the brain and surrounding tissue (meningitis).

Prevention

Immunisation with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to protect against mumps.  Practising good hand hygiene and cough etiquette is also important. 

The Unitec Wellness Centre (ground floor, Te Puna, building 180) is providing a free vaccination for anyone who:
  • was born after 1 January 1969 and has not had two recorded doses of the MMR vaccine
  • is not 100% sure that they have had two Mumps vaccinations
  • was born in Fiji, Japan, Kiribati, Nauru, PNG, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu or some parts of China, as it is likely that they have not had the Mumps vaccine.Symptoms of mumps
  • Symptoms of mumps 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 Wellness Centre is located on the ground floor of Te Puna (Next to Red Lecture theatre).

What to do if you become unwell

See your health professional if you haven’t been immunised, are showing symptoms or have any concerns. If you become unwell, it is important that you keep away from school/lectures until you are seen by your doctor to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

More information on this announcement can be found on the ARPHS website www.arphs.govt.nz.