Mumps

Public health advice to health professionals.

Please note that separate advice applies in the greater Auckland region where community spread is established and the disease control focus has moved to a ‘manage it phase’ and protection of the most vulnerable.

This information is intended for health professionals.  For general information and advice see mumps in Your Health.

Updated clinical case definition

Febrile illness with parotid swelling1 lasting more than 2 days +/- fever2.

Other syndromes uncommonly include viral meningitis, encephalitis, orchitis and pancreatitis.

1. Other causes of parotitis include EBV, influenza A, parainfluenza 1 and 3, Echovirus, coxsackie A virus.
2. 30% laboratory confirmed cases in the Auckland outbreak 2017 did not have a fever.

Mumps likelihood is increased for a case with suspected mumps:

  • If, in the 12-25 days prior to onset, the case has a history of
    • overseas travel to an area where mumps is occurring, or
    • NZ travel to area with on-going mumps cases, or
    • contact with a confirmed case
  • if the case is not fully immunised with measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Notes:

  • Mumps can still occur in fully vaccinated cases as 2 doses of vaccine are about 85 % effective.   
  • As on 10 August 2017, about 2/3 of the cases in the current outbreak have been aged 10-29 years.

Laboratory testing

Contact Public Health/Clinical Microbiologist when ordering a test for a suspected case of mumps.

Please refer to the guidance of the NZ Microbiology Network (PDF).

Public health advice

If you see someone with suspected mumps:

  • Notify Public Health on suspicion.
  • Exclude the person with suspected mumps from school, early childcare centre, university, work, sports or other groups while awaiting test results. 
  • People with mumps are most infectious from 2 days before to 5 days after parotitis onset (virus has been isolated in saliva from 7 days before to 9 days after onset of parotitis).
  • Advise the person and their contacts to avoid close contact with non-immune individuals and persons who are immunocompromised as mumps is spread by close contact with respiratory and oral secretions.
  • Advise good hand hygiene and cough etiquette for all suspected cases and their contacts to interrupt transmission.
  • Advise the person you are notifying Public Health and to expect a phone call.
  • Primary and secondary care providers should ensure that masks are available at reception with clear instructions. 

Make sure MMR immunisations are up-to-date

  • Primary care should check MMR immunisation status and offer MMR immunisation for all patients who may be susceptible.  This is particularly important for Pacific people from countries that only offer measles and rubella vaccine (MR) not MMR, i.e. Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. 
  • Primary care and travel health should ensure pre-travel advice includes checking MMR protection.  If in doubt, vaccinate.  MMR vaccine is free for anyone who needs it. 
  • Primary and secondary care providers should ensure all their staff (including reception and administration) are immune. 
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