LONDON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — Driven by outbreaks in universities and colleges, cases of lab-confirmed mumps in England reached the highest level in a decade with 5,042 last year, marking a 78.9 percent increase year-on-year, said the Public Health England (PHE) Friday.
The rise in cases looks set to continue in 2020, with 546 confirmed cases in January this year compared to 191 during the same period in 2019, said the PHE, an executive agency of Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care.
Many of the latest cases were seen in young adults born in the late 1990s and early 2000s who missed out on the triple MMR vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella, when they were children.
The rise in mumps cases is alarming and yet another example of the long-term damage caused by anti-vax information, said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
“We encourage all students and young people who may have missed out on their MMR vaccine in the past to get up to date as soon as possible,” said Vanessa Saliba, consultant epidemiologist at the PHE.
Mumps is a viral infection that used to be common in children before the introduction of the MMR vaccine. It is most recognisable by the painful swelling of the glands at the side of the face.