Mumps outbreak as cases rocket by 650pc
Ireland is in the midst of a mumps outbreak - with confirmed cases jumping by 650pc in a year.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) confirmed that so far this year a total of 451 mumps cases were notified.
This compares to 60 for the same period in 2018. Throughout the whole of last year a total of 575 cases were notified.
The majority of mumps cases to date in 2019 have been in teenagers and young adults - and a total of 20 people were hospitalised.
There have been 10 mumps outbreaks reported in community, school, university, private homes and other settings so far this year.
A number of high profile sporting events were called off recently due to mumps infection. Trinity College Dublin and UCD have contacted students and staff warning of symptoms, suggesting at-risk students get vaccinated, and telling those who may be affected to avoid other students.
The HSPC said the majority of cases were in the 15-19 year age group (34pc); 20-24 year age group (28pc) and 10-14 year age group (11pc)
More men than women were affected. Most cases have been reported in the east, followed by the north east and the west.
Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, tiredness and swollen, tender salivary glands. Mumps often gives the appearance of swollen cheeks or jaw.
If you have mumps symptoms you should stay at home, not go to school or work and phone your GP and explain that you may have mumps.
The HSPC said that the best protection against mumps is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine.