Macedonian health authorities kicked off an emergency mass vaccination campaign on Tuesday to deal with an outbreak of mumps, a disease that affects mainly children.
Mumps is a viral infectious disease that is spread from person to person through contact with respiratory secretions such as saliva, but can also be spread by sharing food, drinks, and kissing.Symptoms including swelling of the glands close to the jaw, fever, headache and muscle ache.
More than 1,500 mumps cases have been reported since the beginning of the year, with 30 children needing hospitalisation.
Macedonia’s Ministry of Health said that all children aged 15-19 that had not been vaccinated before will get the shots, while kids that had previously received one dose of the vaccine will undergo the treatment again.
Doctors say two doses of the mumps vaccine is key to prevention, and especially teens are encouraged to get the mumps vaccine as soon as possible to prevent the disease reoccurrence.
Mumps is considered a mild to moderate disease, but carries the risk of complications including hearing loss, meningitis, sterility in men and spontaneous miscarriage.