UK: More than 850 cases of suspected mumps reported in just six months

3 Aug, 2019
, Source:

More than 850 cases of suspected mumps have been reported in Nottinghamshire.

That compares to just 85 suspected cases in the same period in 2018 – and it is the highest number since comparable records began in 2011.


The 857 cases reported in Nottinghamshire were flagged up between January 1 and July 7, 2019.

Public Health England said the number of cases looked high because they are ‘suspected’ cases and not ‘confirmed’ cases.

However, across the East Midlands, there were 448 confirmed cases of mumps between January and May, whereas there were just 55 in the whole of 2018.

Mumps is transmitted by direct contact with saliva or droplets from the saliva of an infected person.


In mumps, one or both of the parotid salivary glands, located just below and in front of the ears, swell up and become painful.

There may be swelling around the ovaries (in girls) or testes (in boys after puberty).

Doctors are required to report any suspected cases of mumps to their local authority or local Health Protection Team.

Most cases of mumps are mild – around a third of people infected with the virus develop no symptoms – but when complications occur they can be serious. It is the commonest cause of viral meningitis.

Sherwood doctor Irfan Malik said: “We are seeing more suspected mumps cases at our practice. Also there was a mumps outbreak earlier this year at the universities in Nottingham.

“We are currently checking records and offering catch-up immunisations.”

There have been 8,773 suspected cases of mumps across England and Wales since the start of this year, according to figures compiled by Public Health England (PHE).

This was up from 3,716 in the same period in 2018, and is the highest number of suspected mumps cases in this period since at least 2011.

Across England, PHE has also recorded a marked increase in confirmed mumps cases.  

Jamie Lopez-Bernal, consultant epidemiologist for immunisation at Public Health England said: “The increase in mumps this year has been mostly driven by outbreaks in university students.

“It is normal to see mumps outbreaks in this group but it looks like there are more cases this year.

“This may be because those children who missed out on MMR due to concerns in the late nineties are now reaching university age.

“We’re monitoring closely and urging parents and their children to check they’ve had two doses of MMR if they’re unsure. It’s never too late to get the jab.”

Dr Vanessa MacGregor, consultant in health protection at PHE, said: “We have seen a rise in the figures recently and teenagers and young adults who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine are particularly vulnerable.

To be fully protected, children and adults need to have two doses of the MMR vaccine.
This entry was posted on Saturday, August 3rd, 2019 at 6:30 am and is filed under Latest News.

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