Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

University tackles mumps outbreak

Students and staff are advised to check their MMR jabs are up to date

Mumps have been diagnosed in at least 10 students at the University of Gloucestershire.

Staff and students under the age of 25 are advised to check they have had MMR jabs as part of the routine child immunisation programme.

Anyone who is unsure is urged to have the vaccine, which is said to offer 90% protection against the illness.

The cases are being referred to the Health Protection Agency, a university spokeswoman said.

Letters have been sent to staff and students at the university's campuses in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

"If you think that you have previously had mumps (e.g. mum says that you have had mumps in the past) then the advice is that you should still be vaccinated as evidence is that many of these supposed mumps cases were not mumps," it said.

"MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) was introduced into the routine childhood immunisation programme in 1988, so it is unlikely that you will have received it if you were born before this date.

"These precautions are essential to ensure that you are properly protected from a potentially serious illness and we strongly recommend that you visit your GP to check that your immunisations are all up to date."

Mumps is a viral disease, which causes painful swelling of the salivary glands.

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