Preston Students warned of major mumps risk

Students across Lancashire are being urged to make sure they are vaccinated against mumps.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 5:00 pm
UCLan advises students to get vaccinated against mumps, as the number of cases has hit a decade high

The warning follows the revelation that last year saw the highest recorded number of cases in a decade.

There were 5,042 recorded cases of mumps in England in 2019 - four times the number in 2018.

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And, according to Public Health England many of those cases were people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s who missed out on the MMR vaccine when they were children amid scares about a link between the MMR vaccination and autism.

The man who led a study about the link, 1998, doctor Andrew Wakefield subsequently had his work discredited and he was struck off, but uptake of the vaccine dropped to about 80 per cent in the late 1990s and a low of 79 per cent in 2003.

Measles is also on the increase and health chiefs are warning young people to have both doses of the MMR vaccine, saying the full two doses are needed to maximise protection.

A spokesman at the University of Central Lancashire says there is no obvious evidence of any major increase in cases locally but added that the institution runs campaigns to encourage students to make sure all their vaccination are up to date.

He said: "Every year the university runs a campaign which highlights how students can protect themselves against mumps and other reportable diseases such as measles and meningitis.

"The most effective thing our students can do is to ensure that they are fully vaccinated.

"For many students this will have taken place through childhood/school vaccination programmes, but we continue to urge any concerned student, particularly those under the age of 25 and who have missed out on two doses of the MMR vaccine, to ring their GP as soon as possible or seek advice from the University Medical Centre."