We are experiencing an outbreak of mumps, which is a result of outbreaks in Auckland and parts of the Pacific.
Mumps is spread from an infected person through saliva or mucous droplets when coughing or sneezing. It can be spread via face to face contact within a metre, or by touching an object infected from saliva or mucous, such as a used tissue, shared drinks or shared food.
Early symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. The salivary glands on one or both sides of the face, cheeks or jaw may become swollen and sore 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).
If you suspect you have the symptoms of mumps, please call Healthline (o8oo 611 116 translation available 24/7), or call your GP. Please call your GP before you visit them, to avoid passing mumps on to others.
If you are unsure if you are immune to mumps you can complete this self quiz below for some more information