220 suspected cases of mumps outbreak across Nottingham’s universities

Students are encouraged to get vaccinated with the MMR jab

Public Health England (PHE) confirmed today that there have been 40 confirmed cases and 220 suspected cases of mumps across Nottingham Trent and the University of Nottingham.

This outbreak has affected students throughout the city, not only impacting the individual physically, but also academically. It has been noticed by lecturers at Nottingham Trent University that student attendance has dropped since the outburst.

Students at Nottingham Trent University were emailed recently, urged to ensure that they are vaccinated with the MMR jab, a vaccine that can protect against mumps and meningitis.

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Mumps is easily spread through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person, then contaminating the next victim. It is easily spread at institutions like universities as hundreds of people are coming into contact with one another every day.

NHS England say that mumps can usually be treated with a bit of bed rest and a warm bowl of soup; 1 in every 10 people who get this virus also contract meningitis.

In October 2018, fears of an outbreak of meningitis in Nottingham spread as a student on Clifton Campus at Nottingham Trent was hospitalised at QMC, being treated for the disease.

A spokesperson from Nottingham Trent University has stated that “If any students have any symptoms of the illness, we would encourage them to visit their GP as they would do normally and inform a relevant member of staff on their course if it has an impact on their studies.”

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The University of Nottingham said it is working closely with Public Health England "to monitor the situation", alerting the Cripps Health Centre of any suspected cases.

Dr Vanessa MacGregor, consultant for the Communicable Disease Control of PHE in the East Midlands 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.

"School leavers and other young adults who have not received the MMR or only received one dose should ensure that they take up the offer of MMR vaccination."

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms for mumps can include:

– Most commonly, the swelling of your glands located on either side of your face.

– Problems chewing

– Headache

– Joint pain

– High temperature

– Tiredness

– Loss of appetite

The NHS webpage on mumps says that: "The symptoms of mumps usually develop 14 to 25 days after becoming infected with the mumps virus (this delay is known as the incubation period). The average incubation period is around 17 days."