Ireland's Millennials Seldom Protected from Mumps

Ireland reports an ongoing mumps outbreak in 2020

city area of dublin

According to a new report, a total of 132 cases of mumps were reported to Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) during the first week of 2020.

This data indicates that Ireland’s mumps outbreak that started in 2018, then spread to all areas in 2019, continues in 2020. 

Most mumps cases in Ireland are reported in the college-aged population.

In response to this negative news, Ireland’s Health Services Executive (HSE) once again is warning students at colleges and universities to ensure they are fully vaccinated against mumps.

HSE previously warned students in Dublin about the need for protective vaccination during October 2019. 

Dr. Kevin Kelleher, Assistant National Director, Public Health Ireland, warned schools, colleges, and universities in a radio message about the new mumps outbreak, and asked students to check their vaccination status before returning to college in 2020.

‘You really do need to make sure before you go back to college that you have the (mumps) vaccine,’ he said.

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands.

Mumps outbreaks have most commonly occurred at universities among groups of people who have prolonged, close contact, such as sharing water bottles or cups, kissing, practicing sports together, or living in close quarters, with a person who has mumps. 

Furthermore, some vaccinated people may still get mumps if they are exposed to the virus. 

Ireland is not the only country reporting mumps virus outbreaks.

As an example, universities in the USA have been confronted with various mumps outbreaks.

From January 1 to December 28, 2019, 48 states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. reported mumps infections in 3,474 people.

Just recently, the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, reported a mumps outbreak on campus and is now confronted with a state-issued Health Directive, which requires staff and students to comply with vaccination guidelines.

University of Arkansas supervisors were informed they ‘should tell staff to go home if not in compliance with the state mumps vaccination directive.’

And at the end of 2019, the College of Charleston (CoC) in South Carlina was dealing with a significant mumps outbreak.

On December 18, 2019, the CoC Emergency Management Team reported the total number of mumps cases confirmed since September had reached 75 cases.

Furthermore, the CoC said in this digital statement ‘To be clear, there is no scenario under which the College would close campus due to this (mumps) outbreak. For those who have not received the vaccine, they are asked to visit a local pharmacy, urgent care facility or primary care physician.’

‘Once students have completed the 2-dose vaccination, they should bring a copy of the vaccination record to CoC Student Health Services.’

In the USA, there are 2 vaccines, measles-mumps-rubella MMR-II and ProQuad approved for mumps virus protection.

And, unvaccinated people are reported 9 times more likely to get mumps than are people immunized with 2-doses of MMR vaccine, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Mumps vaccine news published by Precision Vaccinations