Mumps and meningitis: Students encouraged to vaccinate

Doctor talking to student

All students who have not been vaccinated against mumps, measles, rubella and meningitis are encouraged to contact their GP and arrange to receive an MMR or Meningitis ACWY vaccine. If you are not sure if you have received the vaccines, please contact your GP to check.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a contagious viral infection which can spread within close-knit communities.

It is most recognisable by painful swellings at the side of the face under the ears. Symptoms usually begin with a headache and fever, followed by a swelling of glands in the neck.

Although most people recover without treatment, in some cases it can cause complications such as inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, and in very rare cases, meningitis and deafness.

Mumps prevention and the MMR Vaccination

It is strongly advised that students who have not previously had TWO doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine contact their GP as soon as possible to arrange to have this free vaccination.

You can avoid mumps, measles and rubella by avoiding close personal contact with a person with these illnesses and via immunisation.

You need to complete the course of two doses of the vaccine and this may be given at any age.

As the MMR is a live vaccine, if you have a weakened immune system your GP may recommend you do not receive it. If this affects you, please discuss with your nurse or doctor.

If you suspect you may have mumps, please call your GP immediately and inform your School or Department.

Meningitis vaccination

Meningitis is comparatively rare, but it is important to be aware of the symptoms and be prepared to take urgent action whenever it is suspected, as it can develop suddenly and progress rapidly.

Early symptoms you should be aware of include:

  • severe diarrhoea and vomiting
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • fever
  • cold hands and feet

Students should be alert to the signs and symptoms and should not wait for a rash to develop before seeking medical attention urgently. Students are also encouraged to look out for their friends, particularly if they go to their room unwell.


If you believe you have meningitis, call 999 or go to your nearest accident and emergency department immediately.

All first year students receive a small wallet card with this information at the start of the academic year. If you need a replacement, please ask at your Hall, at Brownlow Health, or via Meningitis Now.

A free Meningitis ACWY Vaccination / Meningitis Booster is available for any unprotected individual under 25 years of age.

More information

For information about the symptoms of mumps, measles, rubella and meningitis, please visit the NHS website. The Brownlow Health website also has useful advice for students.

If you have a query, or if you are concerned about mumps, measles, rubella or meningitis, please contact your GP.

More information about the MMR vaccine is available in this publication from Public Health England.


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