Govt allays mumps outbreak fears
Harare (New Ziana) – Cases of mumps recorded in Harare will not progress into an outbreak, a health expert said on Thursday.
Incidences of mumps (mahumunya/amatitiyane), a contagious viral infection which leads to painful swelling of parotid salivary glands in the face, have been recorded in the capital, raising fears of an outbreak.
The disease is frequently reported in children aged 5-9 years of age, although both adolescents and adults may be affected.
In an alert issued last week, Harare City Health Department said cases of mumps were recorded in health centres and community schools.
But Harare’s provincial medical director, Innocent Hove told journalists that the incidents of mumps were nothing to worry about.
“There have been cases of mumps that have been recorded but you understand that mumps is a self-limiting condition which means somebody can develop mumps and can heal on its own while a person is at home. Once somebody has healed, there is no need for them to go to the hospital,” he said.
“They might present at health facilities, but we do not have as many people or cases that have been reported in our clinics. These are just numbers that we are picking within the community,” he said.
Hove said a person with mumps can recuperate at home without seeking medical help.
“It’s a self-limiting condition which that may not warrant someone to go to the clinic. Paracetamol, for example will do the trick while somebody is at home,” he said, adding that cases of mumps were also recorded in neighbouring countries.
Signs and symptoms of mumps include swelling of salivary glands (areas on cheeks, under cheeks and below the cheeks) lasting more than two days without apparent cause.