Public Health Wales is urging people to make sure they have received the MMR vaccination as it investigates cases of suspected mumps in universities in Wales.
As at 16 October, Public Health Wales has been informed of 28 suspected cases of mumps among people who attend universities in Cardiff and Cwm Taf.
The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella infections and is given as part of the routine childhood immunisation programme.
Dr Rhianwen Stiff, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said:
“The MMR vaccine is extremely effective in protecting against measles and rubella, with 99 per cent of those who have received two doses protected for many years.
“One dose of MMR protects around 65 per cent of those who receive it against mumps, with a second dose of MMR improving immunity to around 85 per cent of recipients. So it is possible to see mumps in individuals who have been vaccinated with MMR.
“Mumps is spread by coughs and sneezes and directly through contact with the saliva of an infectious person such as through sharing drinks or kissing. Symptoms include swelling on the angle of the jaw on one or both sides of the face.
“It is important that people with suspected mumps keep away from university and social gatherings for five days after their symptoms start, wash their hands frequently and especially after blowing their nose and don’t share items such as water bottles or cigarettes with others.”
The facial swelling may be preceded by several days of general symptoms such as fever, headache, tiredness, muscle aches, and loss of appetite.
Anyone with these symptoms should see their GP or family doctor and stay away from school or work until five days after the start of the swelling when they are no longer infectious.
Investigations are continuing, and Public Health Wales will continue to monitor the situation.
More information about mumps is available at: