Health & Safety Department


Information on mumps - 8th March 2017

Information for staff and students

We have been informed by the Health Protection Team NHS Lothian of an increase in the number of cases of mumps within the Higher Education community in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Mumps is an acute viral illness. The infection can be easily spread from person to person by direct contact with saliva or droplets of saliva (e.g. via coughs and sneezes) from an infected individual. The signs, symptoms and complications of mumps include:

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swelling of salivary glands on one or both sides of the face

The infection usually passes within a week or two without causing any further problems but it can sometimes lead to complications.

Complications (infrequent)

  • Meningitis
  • Deafness
  • Swelling of testes or ovaries
  • Inflammation of the pancreas


If you are concerned that you may have contracted mumps then you should not attend university and advice should be sought from your GP by telephone.


Mumps can be prevented by immunisation with the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine; 2 doses of the vaccine are required for protection against measles, mumps and rubella.

Most of you will have received a measles vaccination as a child. In the UK, this is known as the MMR vaccine (measles/mumps/rubella). If you were vaccinated with two doses of the MMR vaccine (which is the normal dose) then it is very unlikely that you will become infected with mumps and you do not need to take further action unless you develop symptoms.

If you have not received two doses of MMR then the course can be finished at any time.

If you need to check your immunisation status or if you would like to receive the MMR vaccination, you should contact your own GP Practice.

Further Information

Further general information about mumps and the MMR vaccine is available online at