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Reported cases of mumps on the rise

Cases of mumps on the Island are on the rise, the Department of Health reported today.

Physicians are said to have seen an increasing number of patients with the disease this month, despite the fact that residents can easily be immunised against it.

Said a Department of Health spokeswoman: “Although a serious disease, mumps is now very uncommon. There have been only a total of eight confirmed cases of mumps reported on the Island over the past ten years.”

She added that mumps is a highly-communicable disease characterised by mild fever, headache, muscle ache and swelling of the parotid salivary glands those located in the area between the neck and jaw, below the ears. The disease is spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing.

The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is given to children on a two-dose schedule and prevents almost all cases of mumps. It was introduced for general use in Bermuda in 1983.

“The majority of children have been fully immunised by the age of six years,” the spokeswoman said.

“MMR is given at 15 months and a booster is given between the ages of four to six years.The Department of Health recommends that parents check their child’s immunisation record to see if he or she has had the mumps or MMR vaccine. If your child has not been vaccinated and is 15 months of age or older, contact your pediatrician or family physician to have your child vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Parents who suspect their child has mumps should contact their physician for diagnosis and treatment.

Children with suspected mumps should be excluded from school/day care for at least nine days after the swollen glands first appeared.

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Published August 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm (Updated August 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm)

Reported cases of mumps on the rise

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