HSE reports massive surge in mumps outbreaks this year

Galway daily news Public health alert for possible Measles exposure at UHG emergency department

Mumps is on the rise this year with 62 cases reported in the west so far in 2019.

Latest figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre show that there have been 381 outbreaks of mumps in the first eight weeks of this year.

That’s a massive surge of more than 600% percent on the same period last year when only 52 cases were reported by the end of February.

Mumps is an acute viral infection that is spread from person to person.

Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness and swollen saliva glands.

A person with mumps will often have the appearance of having a swollen jaw or cheeks.

The HSE warns that people who are infected will be highly contagious for 1-2 days before symptoms appear, and for up to 4-5 days after.

The infections reported this year are spread across all age brackets, but the largest number of cases have been in people aged 15-19 (129) and 20-24 (102).

There is also a roughly even split in the number of men and women who have contracted mumps.

While the symptoms are usually not serious, in rare cases complications can cause viral meningitis, or infertility in men.

The most effective treatment is the MMR vaccine which is made available to children at 12 months.

However it can be given to people of any age, so if you are unsure if you have been vaccinated then please consult your GP.