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Mumps epidemiology in the mid-west of Ireland 2004-2008: increasing disease burden in the university/college setting.Mumps is a contagious vaccine-preventable viral disease that is experiencing a revival in students attending second and third level colleges. Large mumps outbreaks have been reported in several countries despite the presence of childhood immunisation programmes over many years, including measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination. In 2008, 1,377 cases of mumps were notified in Ireland and 1,734 in the first three months of 2009 (provisional data). This paper reviews the recent epidemiology of mumps in the Mid-West region of Ireland and highlights preventive measures. A substantial proportion of cases were not laboratory-confirmed and it is important that doctors continue to notify suspected cases. In the Irish Mid-West, data from enhanced surveillance shows a high proportion of mumps in the age group 15-24 years. Complications were uncommon and rarely severe. Where data were available, over half of the cases did not recall having received two doses of MMR, but most recalled one dose. Parents should continue to ensure children receive both MMR vaccinations so that uptake is optimal for protection. Steps were taken to increase awareness of the disease in the school, college and university settings. Preventive measures implemented to limit mumps transmission in the school/college setting over recent years included vaccination of close contacts, isolation for five days and hand hygiene.