Health dept to boost vaccinations amid mumps outbreak, says Phaahla

Health dept to boost vaccinations amid mumps outbreak, says Phaahla

Health Minister Joe Phaahla says they will be looking into whether the mumps outbreak is a consequence of the Covid-19 lockdown, where some children may have missed out on their immunisations. 


The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed an outbreak of mumps in the country.  

The viral infection, caused by the rubulavirus, predominantly affects children between ages of five and nine but can be avoided through vaccination.  

Phaahla says officials in his department will be meeting with those in the nine provinces to address the issue. 

“What it means, just like we have been doing with measles, we need to again look at whether it might be because the impact of Covid that there might be children who have not received their immunisation in time.  

That is something we will be discussing with our provincial immunisation managers, MECs and heads of department.”

The Minister made the comments on the sidelines of International Nurses Day celebrations in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni, on Friday. 

In its statement, the NICD says that mumps reporting has been inconsistent and limited reports on mumps epidemiology as it is not classified as a notifiable medical condition.   

However, the NICD adds recent data shows unexpected, steady, increases in positive cases  in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng. 

The minister says they will be working to improve vaccinations.  

“It means that the necessary immunisations did not take place in some of the areas. We will be looking at some our vaccine stock and making sure that vaccination can be improved, especially in those areas where the outbreak has been recorded.” 


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