News - August 26, 2010

Mumps vaccines, but not for VHL students

At-risk students are offered mumps vaccines on Wednesday 8 September. VHL-students need not apply.

Offering mumps shots to students is an initiative by the GGD (the municipal health service of Gelderland). It thereby follows the guidelines of the RIVM (National Institute for Health and Environment). Since the end of last year there has been a mumps epidemic among students. From the beginning of December till the beginning of this month three hundred cases have been reported at the RIVM, most of them from university cities. Wageningen, too, reported a number of cases this year.
Mumps is caused by a virus and spreads from person to person through coughing. Symptoms are often mild. One in three sufferers is not aware of the infection. Those who do feel ill suffer from fever and swelling of the parotid glands (responsible for producing saliva) in the mouth. Sometimes inflammation of the internal reproductive organs occurs, which can cause infertility. The reason university students are at greater risk of infection is related to the intensive contacts between them. Such as living together in student houses or sharing activities in associations. Last week's introduction programme also constitutes a risk factor.
All Wageningen University students have been informed of the vaccine-action-day by mail. The vaccination applies to students born after 1978 who moreover have not yet been fully vaccinated. Full vaccination consists of two shots which children get when they are fourteen months and nine years old. Students who are not sure if they have had both shots can check this at the regional vaccination office of their home town. The RIVM-advice covers academic higher education only, which is why the vaccination offer is not applicable to VHL students.
The vaccination campaign takes place between 13.00 - 15.00 hours in Forum and is free of charge. Costs are covered by GGD and Wageningen UR.