Unvaccinated university students driving rise in mumps cases experts say

Dr Mary Ramsay, PHE head of immunisation, said: “Although it is normal to see mumps outbreaks in universities every few years, we are seeing a significant number of cases, the highest quarterly figure since 2009.”Coupled with the continued measles outbreaks, these figures clearly demonstrate the need for sustained high vaccination rates.”We’re urging parents and their children, no matter how old they are, to check they’ve had two doses of MMR.”Measles is easy to catch and can kill. Vaccines are there to stop the spread of disease and save lives.”It’s never too late to protect yourself and others.”The mumps component of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is effective at protecting young children but immunity can reduce over time. Therefore, older teenagers and adults who received two doses of MMR in childhood can still get mumps although generally in a much milder form than in those who are unvaccinated.The mumps cases in the second quarter of 2019 were reported across England, while measles were confirmed in all regions except the North East.Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: “Parents have enough to worry about without misleading anti-vaxxers sowing seeds of doubt about vaccines, which remain the best chance we have of protecting our children from potentially deadly illnesses.”These stark rises in mumps and measles cases show that complacency about vaccines is misplaced and dangerous, which is why the NHS is taking action to boost take-up rates and tackle the fake news peddled on social media and elsewhere.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Unvaccinated university students have been blamed for a surge in cases of mumps, after the highest total in a decade was recorded. Some 2,028 cases of mumps were confirmed in the second quarter this year, Public Health England (PHE) said.This is the highest quarterly figure since 2009, PHE said.Nearly half of the mumps cases this quarter were in people who were not vaccinated, and were mostly driven by outbreaks in university students.Cases of measles also increased, with 301 cases confirmed over the same period.Around 88% (266) were in unvaccinated individuals aged 15 and over, PHE said.

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