Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) warned on Friday, January 17, that multiple outbreaks of mumps have been recorded across the country. According to the HSE, 194 cases of mumps were reported during the first two weeks of January 2020. Health officials called on college and university students to ensure their vaccinations are up to date as a precaution to prevent further spread of the disease. The HSE also reported a significant increase in mumps cases in 2019 (around 2500) compared to 2018 (573).
Further spread of the disease is possible over the near term.
Mumps is an extremely contagious viral disease which is spread via airborne droplets emitted from the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, and loss of appetite, followed by the swelling of the salivary (parotid) glands that can lead to difficulties in chewing and swallowing; the disease is asymptomatic in 20 percent of cases. Adult males without immunity are particularly susceptible to a more severe forms of mumps.
Individuals in or traveling to Ireland are advised to verify that their mumps vaccination and any necessary booster shots are up to date and to take hygienic precautions.