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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Several Cases Of Mumps Reported, Bermuda - 22nd Aug 2011

The Department of Health today [Aug.22] confirmed that physicians in the community have reported several cases of mumps, a vaccine preventable disease, in August. 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. The Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Cann expressed concern over the number of reported cases this year, in light of our high immunization coverage rates. He noted that mumps is highly communicable and it only takes a few unvaccinated individuals to initiate transmission.

Mumps is usually a mild viral disease characterized by mild fever, headache, muscle ache and swelling of the parotid salivary glands (located in the area between the neck and jaw, below the ears). Serious side effects of mumps are more common among adults than children. The disease is spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing.

Mumps vaccine [contained in MMR, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine] can prevent this disease. The vaccine given to children on a two-dose schedule prevents almost all cases of mumps. The MMR vaccine was introduced for general use in Bermuda in 1983 as part of Bermuda’s childhood immunization programme.

The majority of children have been fully immunized by the age of six years. MMR is given at 15 months and a booster is given between the ages of four to six years. Read More