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Mumps outbreak contained at Oshakati

2023-03-08  Victoria Kaapanda

Mumps outbreak contained at Oshakati

OSHAKATI - A senior medical officer at Oshakati Intermediate Hospital has cautioned parents to quarantine pupils that were sent home due to mumps from Oshakati West Primary School.

Josephine Kanyama said parents should make sure the learners are isolated and should not be sent back to school until they are no longer showing any of the symptoms. An outbreak was recorded at Oshakati West Primary in the Oshana region after 24 learners were found to have symptoms of mumps. At least 16 learners who were symptomatic were sent back home while eight others did not come to school due to the disease. Kanyama said the ministry sent a team on Monday morning to assess the situation at the school.

She said the situation is under control. She further said the medical team also provided medication to the affected learners.

“The ministry will again provide the school with masks to prevent further spread,” she said.

“If the situation is getting worse and the infected learners continue to feel feverish, they can seek further medical attention,” Kanyama said.

Vyolla Coimbra, a Life Skills teacher who is also a school counsellor at Oshakati West Primary, said they have the situation under control.

Coimbra, however, confirmed that the cases are on the rise.  She said the first case was recorded in mid-February. “Some learners are not recorded due to absence and we are still to establish why they have not shown up for classes,” she said.

“I grouped the learners and educated them on how to stay safe and avoid further infections,” said Coimbra. According to the World Health Organisation, mumps is an acute disease of children and young adults, caused by a paramyxovirus, of which there is only a single serotype. 

Humans are the only known host for the mumps virus, which is spread via direct contact or by airborne droplets from the upper respiratory tract of infected individuals.  Mumps is frequently reported in children aged five to nine years, although both adolescents and adults may be affected. 

After an incubation period of some two to four weeks, mumps begins with non-specific symptoms such as myalgia, headache, malaise, and low-grade fever. Within days, these symptoms are followed by unilateral or bilateral swelling of the parotid salivary glands, with other salivary glands affected in 10% of victims.

2023-03-08  Victoria Kaapanda

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