October 09, 2017
Quarantine mandate for mumps
A change in immunisation policy more than a decade ago is causing turmoil now with mumps sweeping Auckland.
So far this year 527 people in the region have confirmed or likely cases of mumps, compared with just 286 people in the previous 20 years.
The outbreak was hitting Pacific and Maori communities and those aged 10 to 24 the hardest.
Dr Lily Fraser from Turuki Healthcare says changing the age for the second dose of the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella in the early 2000's from 11 to 14 meant many children didn't complete the course.
A panic against immunisation based on phony science also brought down jab rates.
Now that's hurting, even for people who haven't actually contracted the disease, which can be spread by coughs or sneezes.
"The requirement for isolation or for quarantine is actually a legal requirement so if you have been exposed and you aren't immunised you are required to stay home by law and it can be up to two weeks people have to stay at home if they have been exposed so it is quite a big impact on people," Dr Fraser says.
People can get booster shots if they think they missed immunisation.
Mumps can cause painful swelling of the gland around the face and jaw, fever and headaches.
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