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What is a Mumps Outbreak?

Mumps is a viral infection that is caused by the paramyxovirus mumps virus. It is a contagious disease that can easily spread from person to person, particularly in crowded environments. Mumps can be serious and can lead to severe complications, particularly in adults and children who have not been vaccinated.


What is a Mumps Outbreak?

A mumps outbreak is an increase in the number of reported cases of mumps in a particular geographic area or population group. Mumps is a notifiable disease, which means that healthcare providers are required to report cases of the disease to public health authorities. When multiple cases of mumps are reported within a short period of time, this is considered an outbreak.

Mumps is most commonly spread through contact with an infected person’s saliva or respiratory secretions. This can occur through coughing, sneezing, or talking, as well as through sharing food, drinks, or utensils. The virus can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.


Symptoms Of Mumps

The symptoms of mumps can vary but typically begin to appear 16-18 days after exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms of mumps include:

  1. Swollen salivary glands: This is the most recognizable symptom of mumps, and typically affects the parotid glands, located just below the ears. The glands may become swollen and tender, making it difficult to chew or swallow.
  2. Fever: Many people with mumps develop a fever of 101°F or higher.
  3. Headache: Headaches are common in people with mumps.
  4. Muscle aches: Muscle aches are common in people with mumps, and may be particularly severe in adults.
  5. Fatigue: Many people with mumps experience fatigue or a general feeling of malaise.

In some cases, mumps can lead to more serious complications, such as inflammation of the brain or spinal cord (meningitis), inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) or ovaries (oophoritis), and deafness.


How To Prevent Mumps

The best way to prevent mumps is to get vaccinated. The mumps vaccine is typically given as part of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is typically given to children around the age of 12-15 months, with a second dose given between the ages of 4-6 years. Adults who have not been vaccinated should also consider getting the vaccine, particularly if they are traveling to areas where mumps outbreaks are common.


In addition to vaccination, there are a number of other steps you can take to prevent the spread of mumps:

  1. Practise good hand hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after coughing or sneezing, or after being in contact with someone who is sick.
  2. Avoid sharing food, drinks, or utensils: Avoid sharing food, drinks, or utensils with others, particularly during an outbreak.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of the virus.
  4. Stay home if you are sick: If you have symptoms of mumps, stay home from school or work until you are no longer contagious.
  5. Avoid close contact with others: Avoid close contact with others, particularly those who are at higher risk for complications from mumps, such as infants, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.


If you suspect that you or someone you know has mumps, it is important to seek medical attention. Visit your nearest quadcare or WhatsApp us on 064 705 5087 for any enquiries.


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