An Auckland teenager has come into contact with hundreds of people after being misdiagnosed with mumps three times.
Cailyn Selfe, 18, from Massey noticed ulcers in her mouth last Friday, and a lump in her neck the next day.
Having been in contact with someone who had mumps, she was taken to A&E and was told she had lymphadenitis, but wasn't contagious.
Lymphadenitis is the enlargement of a lymph node, usually due to infection.
She then went to Waitakere Hospital and was told again she didn't have mumps, before the pain became too much and was transferred the next day to White Cross.
"They finally took a swab for mumps and again waited two more days for the results and no one got back to me," she said.
Three doctors misdiagnosed the Ms Selfe with mumps, two at Waitakere Hospital and one at the initial A&E she visited, before White Cross took a swab, which confirmed she had mumps.
After ringing White Cross she was told she had contracted the virus.
Ms Selfe said by then she had unfortunately been out in public and possibly infected others.
"I thought I was non-contagious and I was going to work, where I work at a mall [NorthWest Shopping Centre]. I went to church on Christmas Eve night and I spent Christmas with family, who were here from overseas," she said.
She said she's now on much better pain medication since being diagnosed.
A spokesperson for Waitemata District Health Board said the Emergency Department made what they believed at the time to be a reasonable diagnosis when the patient presented on Christmas Eve.
"Given what we now know, the correct course would have been to diagnose mumps and recommend exclusion for five days," they said.
"We are sorry this did not happen at the time. When the patient re-presented on Christmas Day, she opted to go to primary care rather than wait to be seen, so was not re-assessed by our ED staff."
The spokesperson said given there are more than a 1000 people in Auckland this year with confirmed mumps, swabbing is no longer considered a useful way of making a diagnosis.