Mumps outbreak is mainly in KZN, Mpumalanga and Gauteng: NICD
There is an outbreak of the mumps virus across the country, with KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng accounting for the majority of the recorded cases, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Thursday.
Mumps is an acute viral infection caused by the rubulavirus. 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 five and nine. However, younger and older children as well as adults can become infected.
People who have had mumps are usually protected for life against another mumps infection. However, second occurrences do rarely occur, said the NICD.
“More recent data presented as an epidemic curve shows unexpected, steady increases in IgM test positives from week 6 of 2023 with KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng accounting for the majority. The unexpected, sudden increase in mumps IgM and PCR test positives, in the absence of other data, constitutes an outbreak.
“Since February 2023, the NICD has received a number of queries related to possible clusters or outbreaks of mumps in different provinces.
“To limit transmission during an outbreak, in countries where mumps vaccination is universally available, public health authorities may recommend an additional dose of the combination measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine for people at increased risk of getting mumps.
“These groups are usually those who are likely to have close contact, such as sharing sports equipment or drinks, kissing or living with a person who has mumps.
“As the MMR vaccine as an intervention is not universally available in South Africa, it is best to seek healthcare advice.”
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.