AN OUTBREAK of mumps has hit students at Brasenose College.
Last night there were 18 confirmed cases reported over the last five days at the Radcliffe Square college, right.
Health authorities are now working to contain the outbreak.
The college’s bursar Philip Parker said: “There have been 18 cases. All of those students have either gone home or we’re segregating them from other students with a quarantine area.
“Of course we’re concerned, but we’ve acted well and taken steps to contain it.”
University spokesman Matt Pickles said: “The college is working with the college nurse and doctors and taking advice from Health Protection Agency to ensure that the best advice and information is provided to students, including the signs and symptoms to look out for.
“The college is advising any students who suspect they might have mumps-like symptoms to stay in their room and phone the college nurse or GP for advice.”
He added that all new students coming to the university are strongly recommended to seek vaccination with two doses of the MMR vaccine before they arrive in Oxford.
Mumps is a contagious virus which causes painful swellings under the ears, headaches, joint pain and a high temperature.
It usually takes between 16 and 18 days for the symptoms to develop and people are infectious between two days before and four days after the start of symptoms. It spreads from person to person in the same way as a cold – through coughs, sneezes and saliva.
It is important to protect teenagers and young adults who have not been vaccinated against the infection, which can develop into meningitis or other serious complications.
There was a similar outbreak in March 2010, when 41 students from Oxford University and four from Oxford Brookes University contracted the virus.
Students are being urged to have a second dose of the MMR vaccine to ensure they are protected.
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