STUDENTS at Cork Institute of Technology have been urged to contact the college’s medical centre if they do not have two doses of the MMR vaccine amid a mumps outbreak.
Dr Aileen Scullion, a GP in CIT Student Health Centre, said the centre is aware of the recent increase in mumps in Ireland and the fact that college students are at particular risk.
“It is recommended that everyone should have two confirmed doses of MMR vaccine.
“If a student has not had two doses we recommend that they should contact the medical centre,” she advised.
The instructions come after it the HSE’s Department of Public Health revealed there has been an increase in mumps cases in Cork and Kerry in recent months.
So far this year 68 cases of mumps have been reported in the Cork and Kerry area, with 10 of these cases notified in the last 10 days.
“The majority of cases are in the 15 to 24 years group and many are in third level colleges,” said Dr Fiona Ryan, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, in an email to GPs in the region.
“It is very likely that there will be additional cases over the coming weeks,” she warned.
Students in University College Cork have also been warned about the mumps outbreak in the region.
A statement from UCC Student Health Services said there has been an increase in the number of cases of mumps and the flu over the past two weeks.
Students were urged to ensure that they had “at least a lifetime total of 2 doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine”.
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.
Complications of mumps include painful swelling of the testicles in boys and men, swelling of the brain or viral meningitis, deafness and, in rare cases, infertility in men.