READERS may be aware of the rise in the reported cases of mumps.
Most of these cases are appearing in teenagers or young adults because this age group missed out receiving the MMR vaccine, which was introduced into the childhood immunisation programme in the late 1980's.
The Meningitis Trust warns that the effects of an increase in mumps cases could have an impact on the number of cases of viral meningitis this winter.
We fully support the Department of Health's initiative to offer the MMR vaccination to teenagers and young adults, as this will hopefully keep the incidences of this type of meningitis caused by the mumps virus to a minimum.
Meningitis caused by the mumps and measles virus had been virtually wiped out but as a charity we are now very concerned that cases may rise.
We urge everyone, especially the age group concerned, to be aware of the symptoms of meningitis, as early diagnosis is vital.
Meningitis and septicaemia symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, light aversion, drowsiness, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, fitting, high-pitched cry (in babies) and a bulging fontanelle (in babies).
Symptoms can appear in any order and may not all appear at once.
Both adults and children may have a rash (septicaemia) that doesn't disappear under pressure.
Please remember, do not wait for the rash as it may not always appear - if you suspect meningitis seek medical help immediately
I would remind people that 24-hour information is available from the Meningitis Trust on 0845 6000 800.
Community services manager,