Sharp rise in cases of the mumps.

MORE than 100 cases of mumps were reported in the North-east in the last quarter.

Figures released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show there was a total of 133 cases of the contagious virus in the North-east in April, May and June this year.

More than half of the cases were in people aged 14 to 24. This compares with 32 cases for the same quarter last year.

A similar increase is being seen nationally with 930 cases of mumps reported in April to June, compared with 468 in the previous quarter.

Painful swelling of the salivary glands is the most typical symptom.

Julia Waller, left, immunisation lead for the HPA in the North-east, said: "We have seen a sharp rise in mumps cases over recent years and teenagers and young adults who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine are particularly vulnerable.

"While most people recover from mumps within a week, it can still be a very unpleasant disease. Occasionally, some people may develop complications that can include inflammation of the pancreas, viral meningitis, inflamed and swollen testicles in men and ovaries in women.

"There is no treatment for mumps but it can be prevented by the safe and highly effective MMR vaccine." * Anyone who is concerned should contact their GP or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

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