There has been a 45% increase in mumps this year, figures show.
Since the start of the year 191 cases were reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), compared to 104 over the same period last year.
Of all the cases reported so far this year, 93 (49%) were confirmed. Age groups most affected were the 20 to 24 age group (40 cases) and the 25 to 34 age group (33 cases) with more men (58%) than women affected.
In most cases no specific complications were reported. However, 11 of the 191 cases were hospitalised.
Complications associated with the highly contagious virus were meningitis (one case) and orchitis — swelling of the testes (5 cases).
Most cases occurred in the community and were sporadic. However, 11 local outbreaks were reported. Outbreaks occurred in universities, schools and families. There was one community outbreak.
The vaccination status was reported for 62% of cases and of those 57% were never vaccinated or had only received one dose.
Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) has been recommended for all children since 1992. After two doses of the MMR vaccine 98% of people are fully protected against mumps.
The most common symptoms of the highly contagious virus are similar to those of the flu — high fever, aches and fatigue.
Spread by coughs and sneezes, mumps can also cause swelling of glands in the jaws, which can be painful and make swallowing and eating difficult.
Once a person has had mumps, they usually develop immunity against further infections.
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