Skip to main content

Mumps surveillance and epidemiology

Epidemiology

Mumps has been notifiable in England and Wales since October 1988, the same time as the introduction of the MMR vaccine.

Following a long period of low incidence in the 1990's the incidence of mumps rose in Wales from early 2003.  The main group affected were teenagers and young adults born 1980-1991. Many of this group would never have been offered the two recommended doses of a mumps containing vaccine because MMR was only introduced in 1988, with a limited catch-up campaign. In addition the vaccine used during the 1994 schools catch-up campaign was the MR vaccine and did not contain a mumps component.

In October 2005, the national MMR catch-up campaign was announce in order to stem the increased transmission of mumps in Wales. During this campaign a total of 60,820 secondary school, college and university students were immunised against mumps using the MMR triple vaccine. Incidence of mumps in Wales declined sharply following 2005.

Increases in the number of notified and laboratory confirmed mumps cases in Wales were seen in 2009, 2013 and 2019.

 

Mumps in Wales

 

 

Chart showing the rate per 100,000 population and number of confirmed cases of mumps in Wales from 2000-2021

Bar chart showing the number of cases of mumps in Wales as shown in the table below

Rate per 100,000 population and number of confirmed cases of mumps in Wales from 2000-2021

Year Number of cases Rate per 100,000 population
2000 4 0.14
2001 7 0.24
2002 81 2.77
2003 455 15.49
2004 650 21.98
2005 3757 126.53
2006 292 9.78
2007 14 0.47
2008 55 1.82
2009 363 11.95
2010 85 2.79
2011 75 2.45
2012 88 2.86
2013 513 16.64
2014 326 10.54
2015 71 2.29
2016 34 1.09
2017 34 1.09
2018 30 0.96
2019 665 21.09
2020 531 16.75
2021 1 0.03

Confirmed cases of mumps in Wales by age 2014-2021

Year <1 1-4 5-9 10-14 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-64 65+ All ages
2014 0 2 4 25 202 62 17 12 2 326
2015 0 2 2 6 48 9 4 0 0 71
2016 0 0 2 6 20 2 2 2 0 34
2017 0 0 1 0 25 7 0 1 0 34
2018 0 0 0 2 21 5 0 2 0 30
2019 2 0 4 8 483 104 33 29 2 665
2020 0 2 9 38 315 108 26 29 4 531
2021 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

Confirmed cases of mumps in 2017-2021 by quarter of onset

Quarter Number of cases in 2017 % of 2017 year total Number of cases in 2018 % of 2018 year total Number of cases in 2019 % of 2019 year total Number of cases in 2020 % of 2020 year total Number of cases in 2021 % of 2021 year total
Jan-Mar 5 14.7 4 13.3 28 4.2 527 99.2 0 0
Apr-Jun 9 26.5 16 53.3 175 26.3 4 0.8 0 0
Jul-Sep 11 32.4 7 23.3 108 16.2 0 0 1 100
Oct-Dec 9 26.5 3 10 354 53.2 0 0 0 0

 

Sources of surveillance data for Wales

Mumps is one of a number of notifiable diseases. Doctors in Wales have a statutory duty to notify a 'Proper Officer' of the Local Authority of suspected cases of mumps based on clinical symptoms, usually before diagnosis has been confirmed by laboratory testing. Notifications of mumps represent the most complete source of data for surveillance.

Salivary samples are requested from some patients in Wales (and England) with suspected mumps, and are sent to UKHSA in Colindale for confirmation of mumps infection.

These are the data that are used to produce the trends graph and accompanying data tables on this website.

 

Immunisation against mumps

Mumps can be prevented by a highly effective and safe vaccine. This is part of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunisation with a first dose at around 13 months and a second dose (booster) around three and a half years. Young adults and teenagers who have missed out on MMR vaccination as children are also encouraged to get immunised.

A complete course of the two doses will protect over 95% of children against measles, mumps and rubella.

The uptake of MMR (and other childhood) vaccination in Wales is recorded in the COVER (Coverage of Vaccination Evaluation Rapidly) report. This is published on both a quarterly and annual basis.  Use the link below to access all COVER reports from 2003 to date.

More information about the MMR vaccine.