Mumps cases surge by 900pc in just six years
Young people have been urged to get the MMR vaccine after it emerged mumps cases have soared by an astonishing 900pc in just six years.
The latest health surveillance figures revealed Ireland recorded 2014 cases of mumps in 2015 - a 900pc hike on the 165 cases recorded in 2011.
A number of mumps outbreaks have now also hit Irish schools and colleges over recent years.
One college, University College Cork (UCC), recorded a mumps outbreak two years ago.
HSE analysis of the outbreaks nationwide revealed that more than 60pc of mumps outbreaks involved young men.
While mumps can be a mild but irritating infection in the majority of cases, health experts warned that potential complications can include meningitis, deafness and orchitis - which is the inflammation of vital organs.
The majority of cases are in people aged from 15 to 24 years. The peak number of cases within this group occurs in those aged from 18 to 20.
Health Protection and Surveillance Centre (HPSC) figures showed mumps detections have been rising consistently since 2011/2012.
The surge is believed to be linked to a vaccine scare in the 1990s.
However, the HSE is urging young people to take advantage of available vaccinations.
"Most (of those infected) had not had the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine," a HSE spokesperson said.