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Why do college students get mumps?



  One vial of the measles, mumps and rubella virus (MMR) vaccine

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Reuters

Caption

Uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella virus (MMR) vaccine in recent years

Mumps ̵

1; an infectious viral infection that causes swelling of the glands – was on the news this week following a confirmed outbreak at two universities.

A total of 223 suspected cases were reported, 40 of which were confirmed in Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.

This has now increased to 241 suspected cases with 51 cases confirmed by Public Health England (PHE).

The BBC News has investigated why this is the case and whether university students are still at risk.

Where else? happens?

In Nottingham the numbers seem to be particularly high.

PHE said the latest numbers showed that the number of mumps in England had dropped in 2018, with 1,024 confirmed cases compared to 1,796 in 2017.

There were also a handful of cases attended at universities Bath, Hull and Liverpool and London have been reported in the US, especially at Temple University, in Philadelphia, where about 100 people were showing signs of infection.

There seems to be no reason why the Nottingham numbers are much higher, although experts have thought this possible in the city, there are more that are not immune.

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Getty Images

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Students in front of an emergency room at Temple University in Philadelphia

Professor Jonathan Ball of the University of Nottingham – an expert on viruses, viral vaccines and treatments – said that this affected students because they "gathered in close proximity for a fairly long time".

This would be included in dormitories, lecture theaters or even in nightclubs where certain nights are held for students.

"The virus [could] spreads relatively easily, especially when there are relatively many people who have not been vaccinated," he said

A marine biology student at the University of Hull who did not want to give his name , said he felt sick on an excursion to the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland.

He said that a local doctor was diagnosed mumps, but also sent a swab away for confirmation, as mumps in England and Wales is a notifiable disease.

The 19-year-old, who said he knew at least two others who had the symptoms, had to be isolated and driven home, avoiding public transportation because of the risk of others being infected.

Can you catch a vaccination?

Yes. Vanessa MacGregor of PHE said there has been a recent increase in numbers. Adolescents and young adults would not have had two doses of the MMR vaccine "particularly susceptible".

The NHS says the vaccine is part of the routine childhood vaccination plan, where one child is given a dose at the age of 12 to 13 months and a second after three years and four months.

Dr MacGregor urged those who did not have an MMR vaccine – or just one dose – to make sure they were receiving the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella).

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Getty Images

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Students in Philadelphia have taken the MMR-Jab

The University of Hull student also said it was "strange" that he had contracted the infection because he had received both doses and had been confirmed by his father.

According to Professor Ball, the mumps part of the vaccine is the "least effective".

He said: "For the Mumps vaccine, we expect about 88% of the vaccinated to be protected, while for the measles vaccine this is 98%."

"Then if you add unvaccinated people. It's easy to see how a relatively contagious virus can spread so easily. "[19659903] Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Mumps was common in children earlier Vaccinations began in the 1980s

He said it was more complicated because some infected people had little or no symptoms.

However, if the majority were vaccinated, the individuals susceptible to infection would be considered "herd immunity," the level of benefit to experts for protecting a population from disease.

But as Professor Ball explains, "If you start to reduce the number of people vaccinated, then this herd protection is just not there."

Why is that? Intake of MMR vaccine declining?

According to BBC Health Editor Hugh Pym, the reason for the decline in many countries was not clear.

The "damaging" work of the discredited scientist and the hackneyed drug Andrew Wakefield in the 1990s "helped the fire of the anti-vaccine movement," said Prof Ball.

In 1998, the doctor conducted a study in which MMR vaccine was linked to autism, which impacted vaccine coverage by about 80% in the late 1990s and a low of 79% in 2003.

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Getty Images

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The GMC ruled that Andrew Wakefield's research was "irresponsible."

Interest rates recovered in part after research had been refuted, but the volume of anti-vaccine sentiment in social media has increased in recent years.

This led Health and Social Affairs Minister Matt Hancock to new laws to force social media companies

Prof Ball said there were seldom "side effects" with vaccines, and even if such were outweighed these benefits.

"Because we've gone through a golden age of vaccination We've forgotten how harmful and sometimes even deadly these viral infections can be," he said.

Are students and others still at risk?

Dr. Natalie Riddell, a lecturer in immunology and aging at the University of Surrey, said a reduced number of people vaccinated against infectious diseases are dangerous.

"Babies and immunocompromised people [such as the elderly or those receiving chemotherapy] rely on the remainder of us being vaccinated to ease the spread of the disease," she said.

"There is absolutely no need for people to risk their friends or family from getting sick or even dying from measles or mumps, as there is a safe and effective vaccine that protects against both." [19659007Professorsaidthatthepandemicoutbreaksofmumpsandpulmonarydiseasehadledtoanincreaseinthenumberofmumpsandmeaslesoutbreaks

19659005] The University of Nottingham was hit by the mumps virus

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