Dramatic Rise In Cases Of Mumps

THERE was a dramatic increase in the number of young people in Cambridgeshire diagnosed with mumps last year, figures released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) have revealed.

THERE was a dramatic increase in the number of young people in Cambridgeshire diagnosed with mumps last year, figures released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) have revealed.

During 2009 there were 101 confirmed cases of the viral infection, characterised by painful swelling around the neck, while there were only 12 cases recorded in the county during 2008.

The rise is being put down to a low uptake of the combined MMR (measals, mumps and rubella) vaccine among those born before 1990, when large scale vaccination began in the UK.

Across the East of England there were 565 cases of mumps during 2009 compared with only 136 the previous year.

Figures released for 2010 to June show that there have been 34 cases in Cambridgeshire, with the number expected to rise as students head back to schools, colleges and universities in the county.

The symptoms of mumps begin with a headache and fever for a day or two before swelling of the parotid glands which may be on one or both sides, appears. Complications of symptomatic mumps include swelling of the ovaries, swelling of the testes, aseptic meningitis and deafness.

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Factfile

In at least 30 per cent of cases in children there are no symptoms.

The incubation period for mumps is 14-21 days and it is transmissible from several days before the swelling appears to several days after it appears

Contagiousness is similar to that of influenza and rubella but not as infectious as chickenpox or measles

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