Mumps Information for Students

 

Public Health England have been notified that there's currently an increase of suspected mumps cases within University students.  They've published a letter, found here, to give you some information about the disease, and how it can be prevented.

 

What is mumps?

Mumps is a contagious viral infection which can cause swelling in the glands around the neck. General symptoms can develop a few days before the glands start to swell and can include:

  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Feeling sick
  • Dry mouth
  • Mild abdominal pain
  • Feeling tired
  • Loss of appetite
  • A high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F), or above

 

How the disease spreads

Mumps is spread like colds and flu – through infected droplets of saliva that can be inhaled or picked up from surfaces and transferred into the mouth or nose. If you have or suspect you have mumps, you can help prevent it spreading by:

  • Regularly washing your hands with soap and water
  • Using and disposing of tissues when you sneeze
  • Avoiding school or work for at least five days after the onset of swelling

 

When to see your GP

If you feel unwell and suspect mumps, contact your GP so a diagnosis can be made.  It's also important to let the surgery know beforehand, so they can take any precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

 

Protecting against mumps

You can protect yourself against mumps by making sure you've received two doses of the combined MMR vaccine (for mumps, measles and rubella). If you're not sure whether you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine, please check with your parents first and then with your GP.

If you haven’t, please make an appointment with your GP to get vaccinated. The MMR vaccine is freely available on the NHS and is the best protection against mumps.

 

You can also find out more about mumps on the NHS website.