The recent cases of mumps in Harare are not a cause for alarm, according to health authorities.

Dr Innocent Hove, the Harare Provincial medical director, told reporters that mumps is a mild condition that can heal by itself at home.

“Mumps is a self-limiting condition, which means it can resolve on its own without medical intervention,” he said.

“People who recover from mumps do not need to go to the hospital.

“We have not received many reports of mumps cases in our clinics.

“These are just numbers that we are detecting in the community.”

Hove said mumps can be treated with a simple drug like paracetamol and there is no need to see a doctor.

He said mumps cases have also been reported in other countries in the region.

“Some of these conditions are seasonal,” he said.

“We have seen cases in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.

“So it’s not unusual that we might have some cases here; otherwise everything is under control.”

Last week, Dr. Prosper Chonzi, the Harare City Health Department director, issued an alert about mumps cases in health centres and schools.

“Harare metropolitan province has seen mumps (mahumunya) cases in our health centres and schools.

“We therefore ask you to use your networks to inform parents and guardians about this letter and encourage them to bring their children and adults who get infected with mumps to their council health centres and show this letter to their health care providers,” he said.

Mumps (mahumunya/amatitiyane) is a viral infection that causes painful swelling of the salivary glands in the face.

It mainly affects children between 5 and 9 years old, but adolescents and adults can also get it.

Symptoms of mumps include swelling of the salivary glands (on the cheeks, under the cheeks and below the cheeks) for more than two days without a clear reason.

Other symptoms include pain when chewing or swallowing, weakness, loss of appetite and swelling of the testicles for boys – Kukurigo