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Mumps and Pregnancy 9 April 2013

The Public Health Directorate has received several enquiries from pregnant women who have been concerned about coming into contact with people with mumps. The number of mumps cases continues to remain high across the Island, and between January and March 2013 Public Health has been notified of 36 cases.

Public Health would like to bring to the attention of pregnant women the following key facts:

  • Mumps has not been shown to have any significant effects on pregnancy. Studies have also shown it does not cause any severe congenital abnormalities in babies.
  • There is no need to exclude pregnant women from settings such as schools where there are cases of mumps.
  • If a pregnant woman has been in contact with a case of mumps, there is no specific treatment and there is no need to be concerned.
  • If a pregnant woman develops mumps, there is no evidence that there is any greater risk of complications than for the general population, and there is no specific treatment.
  • The MMR (Mumps, Measles and Rubella) vaccine, being a live vaccine, is not recommended in pregnancy; however, studies have not shown that the vaccine, when it has been given indirectly to pregnant women, leads to any problems.

Advice to members of the public:

Please ensure that you and your children have been adequately immunised with two doses of MMR. MMR not only prevents mumps but also measles and rubella (aka German measles); there is currently a major outbreak of measles in South Wales.

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