Mumps Love Visiting UK and USA Colleges

University-based mumps outbreaks may need a 3rd MMR vaccine dose

bath university

The mumps virus has returned to headline news on both ‘sides-of-the-pond’ during 2019. 

According to BBC, 223 suspected mumps cases with 40 confirmed, have been reported across Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham, during 2019. 

There have also been a handful of mumps cases reported at the universities of Bath, Hull, and Liverpool in the UK. 

Moreover, these new mumps outbreaks at UK colleges follow cases reported at Oxford College during 2018, and at Oxford University, including Exeter, Corpus Christi, and St Anne’s during 2017. 

In the USA, a massive mumps outbreak at Temple University (110+ cases) during March 2019 has led to city-wide vaccination programs for thousands of Philadelphia residents. 

And recently, Drexel, Indiana, San Diego State and West Chester Universities have reported mumps cases.   

Previously, colleges such as Cincinnati, College of William & Mary, Emory, Harvard, James Madison, Michigan, Northern Colorado, Northeastern, Oklahoma, Penn State, Virginia Commonwealth, TCU, Texas State and Western Illinois University reported on-campus, mumps cases during 2018. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says these college outbreaks are happening because the mumps virus is very contagious, which makes college-lifestyles ideal to create an outbreak. 

But, there may be a vaccine efficacy issue as well.

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According to a Harvard study, one potential cause of these mumps outbreaks is ‘waning-immunity.’ 

This study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that vaccine-derived immune protection against mumps persists on average for about 27 years, after the last administered dose.

Further, this study reported waning mumps immunity could accelerate, based upon individual attributes.

To help universities better manage on-campus outbreaks, the CDC released new guidance during November 2018, suggesting when the 3rd dose of mumps vaccine is appropriate. 

In the USA, most pharmacies offer mumps vaccination services for current and future college students. To schedule an appointment with a pharmacist visit this site. 

Mumps vaccine discounts can be found here. 

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.