Around 220 students have suspected mumps, after a confirmed outbreak at both universities in Nottingham.
There are 40 confirmed cases of the infection and 223 suspected cases reported at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.
Public Health England is working closely with the two universities and is also advising students and young adults to make sure they are up to date with MMR vaccines.
Dr Vanessa MacGregor of Public Health England said:
‘We have seen a rise in the figures recently and teenagers and young adults who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine are particularly vulnerable.
“School leavers and other young adults who have not received the MMR or only received one dose should ensure that they take up the offer of MMR vaccination.”
Mumps is a contagious viral infection caused by a paramyxovirus.
The most common symptom of mumps is the swelling of glands, which are located on either side of the face, just below the ears.
Mumps is spread in the same way as colds and flu – through infected droplets of saliva that can be inhaled or picked up from surfaces and transferred into the mouth or nose.
A person is most contagious a few days before the symptoms develop and for a few days afterwards.
If you have mumps, you can help prevent it spreading by regularly washing your hands with soap and water, using and disposing of tissues when you sneeze and avoiding school or work for at least 5 days after the onset of swelling.
It’s important to contact your GP if you suspect mumps so a diagnosis can be made.
While mumps isn’t usually serious, the condition has similar symptoms to more serious types of infection, such as glandular fever and tonsillitis.
Let your GP know in advance if you’re coming to the surgery, so they can take any necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection.