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Worthing High School

Worthing High School

Mumps Outbreak

We have been asked to share the following information from the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust in relation to Mumps.

In 2019 there were over 5,000 lab-confirmed cases of mumps in England, the highest number seen in a decade. The steep rise in cases has been largely driven by outbreaks in colleges and universities, with most of the cases in young people and adults aged 15 to 35 years. See the recent BBC article here where students describe their experiences. In fact, many of the cases in 2019 were seen in the so-called ‘Wakefield cohorts’ – young adults born in the late nineties and early 2000s who missed out on the MMR vaccine when they were children.

Mumps is a viral infection that used to be common in children before the introduction of the MMR vaccine. It is most recognisable by the painful swelling of the glands at the side of the face, giving a person with mumps a distinctive “hamster face” appearance. Other symptoms include headaches, joint pain and fever, which may develop a few days before the swelling. Although most people usually recover without treatment from mumps, in some cases it can cause complications such as inflammation of the testicles, and in rare cases, meningitis and deafness.

Public Health England is encouraging all students and young people who may have missed out on their MMR vaccine to contact their GP practice and arrange an appointment to catch-up as soon as possible.