It’s alarming news for South Africans as the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has recently confirmed a mumps outbreak in the country. According to the report released on 11 May 2023, the outbreak started in Gauteng and has since spread to other provinces.
NICD Confirms Outbreak
The NICD has confirmed that South Africa is currently experiencing a mumps outbreak. As of May 11, 2023, there have been 276 reported cases of mumps in the country, with the majority of cases being reported in Gauteng province. The virus has spread to other provinces as well, including Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Limpopo.
What is Mumps?
Mumps is a contagious viral infection that primarily affects the salivary glands. The virus can be spread through close contact with an infected person, such as by sharing utensils or kissing. Infected individuals can experience symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen salivary glands.
Who is at Risk?
Mumps can affect people of all ages, but it is most commonly found in children between the ages of 5 and 15. Individuals who have not been vaccinated against mumps are at an increased risk of contracting the virus. Those who have weakened immune systems, such as individuals undergoing cancer treatment or those with HIV/AIDS, are also at a higher risk.
Prevention and Treatment
The best way to prevent mumps is through vaccination. The MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, is recommended for all children and adults who have not been vaccinated. Individuals who have been diagnosed with mumps should rest and drink plenty of fluids to help alleviate symptoms. Pain relievers can be taken to alleviate pain and fever, and warm or cold compresses can be used to reduce swelling in the salivary glands.
The mumps outbreak in South Africa is a cause for concern, but there are steps that individuals can take to protect themselves. By staying up-to-date on vaccinations and practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly and avoiding close contact with infected individuals, individuals can reduce their risk of contracting mumps. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have mumps, seek medical attention immediately to receive proper treatment. #mumpsoutbreak #NICD #vaccination #prevention #treatment #HEALTH