Fears Auckland doctors aren't picking up mumps epidemic after teen's misdiagnosis

Auckland is in the grip of a mumps epidemic, but it seems doctors aren't picking up on the signs.

More than a 1000 cases have now been reported, but an Auckland teenager who contracted the infectious disease was misdiagnosed by three doctors.

Swollen and sore, Cailyn Selfe had all the tell-tale symptoms of mumps but no diagnosis from a doctor to confirm it.

"I was a bit worried, and especially when they said it's not mumps, I thought 'Well, what is it, because it's getting bigger,'" her mother says.

She took Cailyn to the emergency medical centre twice in two days, and both times she was diagnosed with lymphadenitis - not mumps.

On Christmas Day, she couldn't stand the pain any longer.

"I woke up in unbearable pain and I had to wake up my mum. She said, 'Let's go to hospital,'" says Cailyn.

However the diagnosis at Waitakere Hospital was the same.

"I first got put into isolation because they thought that maybe I did have mumps, and then the doctor came and examined me, and again he diagnosed me with lymphadenitis after taking blood tests."

Cailyn was given mouthwash and told to take Panadol for the pain. She was told the lump would go away in a week.

They'd even told the doctors she'd been in contact with someone recently who had mumps, and she still wasn't tested for it.

At Cailyn's fourth visit to a medical centre, she waited overnight before they finally took a swab, and then gave her the mumps diagnosis she'd suspected all along.

Staff at Waitakere Hospital emergency department told Newshub they made what they believed to be a reasonable diagnosis at the time, but say they're sorry they didn't diagnose the mumps.

Cailyn was immunised when she was a child, but falls in the high-risk category for this outbreak - the majority of cases are aged 10 to 29 years of age when the vaccine's potency wears off.

Now, with over 1000 cases of mumps confirmed in Auckland alone, her family are concerned other cases aren't being picked up by medical professionals.