Students at a Cork college have been warned to be wary following a spate of mumps cases on campus.
An email sent to students at Cork Institute of Technology this morning revealed that a number of mumps cases have been detected on campus in recent days.
CIT has since confirmed to The Echo that this is the case.
CIT, which boasts more than 12,000 students at their Bishopstown campus, warned students to be vigilant for symptoms and to contact their GP if they suspect they may have the mumps.
In an email sent to students on Monday, Dr Dan Collins, Academic Administration & Student Affairs Manager at CIT, said: “A number of confirmed cases of Mumps have been reported in Cork and more specifically, within the Institute.
“Please be advised that information has been provided by the medical centre.
"If you feel unwell or suspect you may be affected by this illness, please telephone your GP for additional advice,” he added.
In a statement to The Echo, Dr Collins said: “CIT is proactively creating awareness amongst our students and staff with this email while at the same time protecting the confidentiality and right to privacy of those affected.”
A recent study carried out by the HSE’s Mumps Outbreak Control Team found that almost 4,000 cases of mumps have been reported in Ireland over the past 18 months or so, mainly among young people.
Mumps is a highly contagious viral infection that usually affects children.
While mumps does not usually cause any long-term problems in children, it can lead to a higher risk of developing complications when contracted by teenagers and adults.
Almost 30 cases were reported in Cork in the first two weeks of this year alone compared to the same period in 2019, when around 12 cases were reported throughout Ireland.
The mumps outbreak at CIT comes after The Echo recently revealed Ireland has experienced its first confirmed case of rubella in more than a decade after a worker at Apple’s Hollyhill campus contracted the illness.
In his email, Dr Collins also updated students on the coronavirus Covid-19, warning that the situation could “escalate quickly” over the coming weeks.
He said that contingency plans are being drawn up to deal with any suspected cases in Cork which could impact CIT.
Students who are planning trips to infected areas have been advised to cancel their plans while those who have returned from areas with confirmed cases have been asked to contact the Department of Public Health.