Outbreak of mumps among students
There is currently an outbreak of the viral infection mumps among students in Trondheim, with suspected cases in Bergen as well.
A mumps infection usually causes fever and swelling of the salivary glands, and some men experience more extensive illness with symptoms including inflammation of the testicles and epididymides, which can result in reduced fertility.
The virus is air-borne via droplets of saliva or spread by direct contact with saliva from an infected person. Usually, those infected are contagious from one week before to one week after the salivary glands swell.
It is important that all students take precautions to prevent the infection from spreading. Precautions include good general hand hygiene, avoiding close head-to-head contact, not drinking from the same bottles or otherwise coming into contact with saliva and droplet infection.
The MMR vaccine, which is part of the Norwegian child vaccination programme, includes a vaccine against mumps, but the effect of this vaccine diminishes over time. Nevertheless, there are strong indications that full immunisation gives a milder and less contagious illness.
We recommend everyone who has been in close contact with a person infected with mumps to take a booster dose of MMR vaccine. The same applies to people who have only received one dose of MMR vaccine and to foreign students who are not fully immunised.
Students who have been in contact with someone infected by mumps and all students who are not fully immunised can phone the Office of Infection Control on 55565880 to make an appointment for vaccination.
Students who have been exposed to infection and become ill should see their GP for further examination and testing. Students whose regular GP is not in Bergen can contact the medical centres 7 Fjell legesenter and Legene på Høyden.