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CHRIST CHURCH HOLDS MMR IMMUNISATION DAYS FOR LOCAL YOUNG PEOPLE

17 November 2004

Canterbury Christ Church University College is supporting a proactive campaign of immunisation against mumps.  The Kent and Medway Health Protection Agency will be offering the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination to all local young people aged between 16 and 25 at two of the University College’s campuses. The immunisation days will take place between 10am and 4pm on Wednesday 24th November at the Canterbury Campus situated on North Holmes Road and between 10am and 4pm on Monday 29th November at the Thanet Campus situated on Northwood Road in Broadstairs.

The University College is acting upon the advice of the Kent and Medway Health Protection Unit after it was confirmed that two students and one member of staff from Canterbury Christ Church University College have contracted mumps over the last two weeks. 

The University College is among a number of Further and Higher Education Institutions around Kent and Medway to be taking part in the Health Protection Unit’s campaign of immunisation in order to prevent a more serious outbreak.

Clinical Director of the Kent and Medway Health Protection Unit, Dr Mathi Chandrakumar, said: “I have arranged a programme of eight immunisation days at colleges and universities.  We are targeting the campaign at young people aged between 16 and 25.  They are the vulnerable group for two reasons: first they are too old to have been offered two MMR vaccines and, secondly, because there is an increasing pool of young people who are unprotected.  Anyone in this age group can come to one of these sessions – they do not have to be a student at the college or university where it is being held.”

Geoff Haworth, Director of Student Support Services at Canterbury Christ Church University College, said: “Acting with the Kent Health Protection Unit, the University College’s priority is to protect the health and welfare of its students and staff, as well as that of the local community.  We are confident that the measures we have put in place are the best way to ensure this.”

Notice for journalists and photographers: If you wish to visit the University College during the immunisation days please contact Claire Robinson, Media Relations Officer, on 01227 782391 or email cr54@canterbury.ac.uk to organise a suitable time and she will escort you around the campus.

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS

What is mumps?  Mumps is an infectious disease caused by the mumps virus.  It is a mild disease in most people causing very little upset and may even go completely unnoticed.  In others, however, it can have some quite severe complications.  These included swelling of the testes, swelling of the ovaries, pancreatitis, meningitis, encephalitis and deafness.

How does it spread?  Mumps is usually spread from person to person by coughs and sneezes.  Occasionally, it may be spread by direct contact with the saliva of someone with mumps.  People with the illness can pass it to others several days before the symptoms start until just after the swelling has settled.

What are the symptoms?  Symptoms begin with a headache and fever for a day or two, followed by swelling of the parotid glands, in front of the ears on one or both sides.  In some cases, the salivary glands do not swell, but the patient develops symptoms elsewhere (e.g. orchitis, meningitis).

How can it be treated?  There is no specific treatment for mumps.  Treatment is based on alleviating symptoms.

What is the incubation period?  Usually 12 to 25 days.

How can it be prevented?  The only effective way to prevent mumps is by immunisation.  Mumps vaccine is one of the components of MMR vaccine since 1988, given to children as part of the routine programme of immunisation, offered to all children at 12-15 months, with a second dose offered preschool between 3-5 years of age.  To reduce spread, cases are advised to stay at home for nine days after the swollen glands appear.

Contacts

Claire Robinson, Media Relations Officer,
Canterbury Christ Church University College
01227 782391, cr54@canterbury.ac.uk

Alison Pemberton
Health Protection Agency
01622 713005, Alison.Pemberton@kentmedway.nhs.uk

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