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Mumps: Information from Coventry Primary Health Care Trust

Originally published 27 April 2003

A Rise in Cases of Mumps

The Health Protection Agency Unit in Coventry and Warwickshire have observed a rise in cases of mumps. Seven cases have been confirmed. This is higher than has been seen in previous years.

The majority are in young adults, some who have never been immunised, others who have been incompletely immunised and some have only had the M-R (Measles-Rubella) vaccine. Reports have also been received in two small children of presumes mumps. The Health Protection Agency have stated that it is very important to ensure that all who can be immunised are up to date with their vaccinations. Ideally, two doses of MMR are recommended for good protection. There is no upper age limit.

Children below the age of twelve months cannot be given the MMR. Therefore it is important that people around them are fully immunised.

Mumps can range from a silent infection to one with symptoms. The usual symptoms are fever, swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands (in front of the ears or under the tongue), inflammation of the testes, occasionally leading to sterility, inflammation of the pancreas.

The rise in cases has been seen in many parts of the country and it due to the reasons mentioned above. However, once the virus starts to circulate at a higher level in the community then children under the age of 12 months who are yet to be immunised and those older children who have not been immunised will be vulnerable and clusters and outbreaks can be anticipated.

Dr Madhu Bardhan, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at Coventry Primary Care Trust - 02476 221986.

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