Give students free mumps vaccinations, urges union

Kieran McDaid

The National Disease Surveillance Centre said approximately 110 people were affected in Dublin, the Midlands and the North West in three separate outbreaks at third-level institutions.

Two non-linked cases have also been identified in the Carlow/Kilkenny area, it said. The USI said it was launching a campaign at raising awareness among students following the recent outbreaks at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Athlone Institute and NUI Maynooth.

The number of cases in the country is more than three times that of this time last year.

USI welfare officer Layne Aston urged all students to get vaccinated against the disease.

“Mumps is often viewed as one of the many bugs we pick up as children, but for those who are infected in later life the consequences can be more serious. For many young adults it is vital that the vaccination route is taken as soon as possible.”

In young men there is a 40% risk of testicular inflammation (orchitis) in those that contract the disease while some 5% of woman may develop oophoritis (ovarian inflammation).

Ms Aston said the USI had provided all its member students’ unions with information on mumps and there is also a fact sheet on the disease on the organisation’s website, www.usi.ie.

“USI is urging as many university and college medical centres and clinics close to colleges to provide free vaccinations and service for students,” she said.

She said the union will continue to fight for the provision of medical cards for students.

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