This year there have been over 310 cases of mumps notified to the western Australian Health Department, with a recent outbreak occurring  at a Perth high school and mid-year outbreaks in the Kimberley and Pilbara. Most of these cases have occurred in people aged between 8 and 40 years.

Mumps infection is  viral , spread through droplets when an infected persons coughs, sneezes or shares saliva. The incubation period is 12-25 days ( average 17 days) before developing painful face and neck glands, fevers, muscle aches and becoming generally unwell. The infectious period can be up to 7 days before and 9 days after the swelling of the salivary glands become noticeable. There are possible complications of meningitis and occasionally permanent infertility in young men as a result of infection. No specific treatment is available, but immunization can prevent the disease.

It is recommended that all children are vaccinated according to the Western Australian Vaccine Schedule and two doses of vaccine is recommended for those adults born after 1966. Those born earlier are usually immune due to the high incidence of infection that occurred before 1966. If your vaccination status is unknown, there is no harm from having another MMR vaccination and you will have increased your immunity to the disease.

<- Back to: News