More than 530 Maastricht students have already had themselves inoculated against mumps, according to the Local Health Authority (GGD). The GGD advises students to have themselves vaccinated, regardless of whether they were vaccinated as children (which is often the case in The Netherlands and the rest of Europe) or not.
Dozens of cases of mumps were confirmed in various university cities last June. In Maastricht, there are thirteen registered cases. “It is the tip of the iceberg”, says a GGD assistant. “Most students have very mild symptoms, so they do not visit their GPs; others are not diagnosed as having mumps.” The symptoms include swollen cheeks – caused by a salivary gland infection– and often fever, headaches and muscular pain. It is not a serious illness, the GGD says, but patients are contagious from the moment of catching the infection until nine days after. “Mumps can be spread by coughing.” Attending a big party when you have the mumps is not a good idea.
Maastricht students of medicine, who come in contact with a lot of patients, were informed by e-mail this summer about the illness and inoculation. “Last Wednesday, 314 interns had been vaccinated.” Their vaccination is being paid for by the hospital. Students from other faculties pay €23 if they report to the Ease Travel Clinic in the Maastricht university hospital.