PETALING JAYA, Oct 8 — An outbreak of the mumps virus at three schools in Putrajaya since July was not from exposure to those back from Saudi Arabia, according to the Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Health Department.
Department director Dr Zainudin Abdul Wahab said the cases were instead traced to students who were not immunised to the virus.
“These cases have no correlation with the pilgrims returning from the either Mecca or Madinah.
“Mumps can be averted if the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination were administered and since April last year the vaccine had been given twice: At age nine months and 12 months,” he said in a statement.
Zainudin said the cluster of mumps cases was first detected on July 25 involving children from a Putrajaya school.
Since then recurring cases at the same school and two additional schools pushed the number of cases to 17 as of Friday.
“The patients are stable and received outpatient treatment. They are expected to make full recovery between two and three weeks,” he said.
“This is not a serious illness and complications are rare but those showing symptoms are encouraged to seek treatment as soon as possible.”
Attempts to contact Zainudin on why students at the first school were not screened and isolated after initial cases went unanswered.
It was not possible to determine how many students at the affected schools were not given their measles shots.
Zainudin also said the department engaged the headmasters and student affairs teachers at the affected schools to raise awareness on the disease and health education had been intensified.
Typical symptoms of infection are ― headache; swollen, painful salivary glands on one or both sides of the face; muscle aches, weakness and fatigue and loss of appetite.
The disease spreads via contact with virus bearing saliva on any surface of as droplets released when an infected individual either coughs or sneezes.