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Mumps cases on the increase, says HPA

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The Health Protection Agency has reported 998 confirmed cases of mumps in England and Wales in January and February 2009. This compares with 322 cases in the same period in 2008.

Cases of mumps have been high since 2004 and the increase is mainly among older teenagers and young adults in their early twenties in further or higher education establishments.

Some in this age group were too old to be routinely vaccinated with MMR when it was first introduced in 1988 or may only have received one dose of the vaccine.

HPA advice states that school leavers and other young adults who have not received MMR, or only received one dose, should ensure they take up the offer of MMR vaccination.

As part of the MMR catch up programme, all children aged 5-18 years who have not received two doses of MMR should be being called for vaccination.

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