MUMPS ALERT -  January 2020

This notice is to inform you that the Mumps outbreak continues to be an issue in third level colleges. 

Mumps is a viral infection. Symptoms include fever, headache and swelling of the cheek and jaw. People are infectious for up to 7 days before the cheek swelling appears and remain infectious for 5 days after the swelling becomes visible.


To prevent the spread of Mumps HSE are advising:

  1. If you have Mumps you should not attend college for 5 days following the onset of the swelling.
  2. Students should ensure that they have had two doses of MMR vaccine (your childhood vaccinations). 
  3. If you have not had two doses of MMR vaccine you should attend your own GP or Student Health Service to get the vaccine before you start back to college
  4. The vaccine is currently available FREE of CHARGE as the cost is covered by the HSE on a temporary basis.
  5. If you have symptoms suggestive of Mumps, please DO NOT ATTEND COLLEGE. Please call your GP or the UCD Student Health reception on 01 716 3134 to make an appointment. Please inform them that you suspect that you may have mumps so that we can ensure that you are placed in a safe area and not in the general waiting room prior to your appointment.
  6. For further information please see the following websites:

Mumps Symptoms

Symptoms of Mumps include


Don't let mumps interrupt your studies or ruin your exams!

In 2019, there has been a large increase in the number of mumps cases reported from universities and secondary schools in the Dublin area. If you have not had mumps or have not received 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, you are at risk of getting mumps.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a viral infection. Symptoms include fever, headache, and swelling of cheek and jaw. Meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain) can occur but usually resolves without problems. More rarely, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain itself) and deafness can occur. In adolescent and adult males, mumps can cause inflammation of the testicles (orchitis), but, contrary to popular belief, it is not a frequent cause of infertility. People ae infectious for up to 7 days before the cheek swelling appears and remain highly infectious for 5 days after symptoms develop. 

What should I do now?

If you have received 2 doses of the MMR vaccine or have had mumps, there is no need for concern. If you have not received 2 doses of thr MMR vaccine, or are unsure of your vaccination status and have not had mumps, then you should attend the Student Health Service or your family doctor for vaccination.

What should I do if I think I have mumps?

There's currently no cure for mumps, but the infection should pass within 1 or 2 weeks.

Treatment that can be used to relieve symptoms includes:

If you require medical advice let your GP know in advance if you're coming to the surgery, so they can take any necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

Can I attend college?

To prevent spread of mumps, you must stay at home for 5 days after the swelling develops.


Mumps Information for Students

The mumps virus is spread from person to person by kissing, coughs and sneezes.   Mumps causes fever, headache and usually painful swollen salivary glands with swollen cheeks or jaws. Complications may cause inflammation of the testicles and ovaries.

If you do develop symptoms you need to stay out of college for five days and away from other people.

Students are advised to check that they had 2 MMR vaccines, measles, mumps and rubella.  If not the vaccine is available with your GP or at the student health service, Tel. 01 716 3134.


What is mumps?  Mumps is an acute viral illness that causes fever, headache and painful swollen salivary glands.

How is it spread? It is spread from person to person by coughs and sneezes.  It can also be transmitted through direct contact with saliva, including kissing.

How is serious is it?  You could be ill enough to miss two weeks from college, studying, taking exams and socialising.

What are the complications? Generally complications are mild but mumps can cause meningitis, deafness, inflammation of the pancreas, ovaries or testicles.

How can you be protected? Immunisation with MMR vaccine is the best protection.  Two doses of MMR are recommended

Who needs to get MMR?  If you are under 25 and have only had one dose of MMR you need to have a second dose.  If you were never vaccinated with MMR you need two doses. Older students usually do not need MMR vaccine as they probably were infected with mumps as young children before the vaccine was available.

How many doses of MMR have you ever received?  If you don’t know how many doses you received check your immunisation records (check with a parent/GP/HSE community care office). If you are unsure you should go ahead and get at least one dose of MMR.


For further information visit the Health Protection Surveillance website's preventable mumps factsheet here.