Queensland a hotbed for serious virus
QUEENSLAND recorded more cases of mumps in 2018 than the other states and territories combined.
Federal Government figures show Queensland had 475 confirmed cases of the vaccine-preventable virus last year - almost three-quarters of the Australian total (634).
It was the second consecutive horror year for mumps in Queensland, which recorded 400 cases in 2017, amounting to almost half of the numbers in Australia (811) for that year.
NSW was the second worst mumps state in 2018 with 71 laboratory confirmed cases, ahead of the Northern Territory with 39.
Mumps is spread by coughing or sneezing. It is a serious contagious virus that can cause swelling of the saliva glands, fever and headaches.
Complications can include deafness and encephalitis - inflammation of the brain.
A Queensland Health spokeswoman blamed the high number of cases in the past two years to outbreaks on the Darling Downs, in Central Queensland and the state's north.
The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service was Queensland's mumps hot spot last year, with 200 diagnoses - way more than metropolitan Brisbane, which accounted for 36 cases.
Townsville had 63 confirmed cases, Central Queensland Health reported 53 cases, the Torres Strait and Cape York had 50 cases and the Darling Downs 49.
Four regions - Central West, Mackay, South West and West Moreton - had no laboratory confirmed cases in 2018.
Three cases have been recorded in the state this year.
Queensland mumps cases in 2018 peaked in April, with 83 notifications. Eleven cases were recorded in December - the lowest monthly figure for last year.
The Queensland Health spokeswoman said vaccination was the most effective protection against mumps.
"The measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is free for people born after 1965 who do not have at least two documented doses of MMR," she said
2018 QUEENSLAND MUMPS FIGURES BY REGION:
Cairns and Hinterland: 200
Central Queensland: 53
Torres Strait and Cape York 50
Darling Downs 49
Metro North 23
Metro South 13
Gold Coast 12
North West 6
Sunshine Coast 4
Wide Bay 2
Central West 0
South West 0
West Moreton 0