Mumps infections have been confirmed in South London boroughs according to Public Health England.

The ‘hamster face’ disease, as described by the NHS, isn’t usually serious but the swellings in the face are painful.

It can also cause headaches, joint pain and a high temperature.

You should contact your doctor if you or your child have symptoms, as it could be a more serious condition like glandular fever or tonsillitis.

Public Health England said that last week (ending March 4) there were mumps cases in the following boroughs:

• Bexley – 2

• Bromley – 1

• Lewisham – 1

• Wandsworth – 2

• Croydon – 1

If your child has suspected mumps, your GP will send off a saliva sample for confirmation.


Viral meningitis occurs in about one in seven cases of mumps, but this is usually less serious than bacterial meningitis.

Encephalitis, swelling of the brain, occurs in about one in 1000 patients with mumps-caused meningitis and is a very serious condition which needs emergency medical attention.

Other complications of mumps are pancreatitis (one in 20 cases) swelling of ovaries (one in 20 post-puberty females) or testicles (one in four post-puberty males).

Swelling of the ovaries and testicles is temporary and very unlikely to cause long-term fertility problems.

Temporary hearing loss occurs for about one in 20 people with mumps, the chance of becoming permanently deaf is just one in 20,000.

The MMR vaccine provides 95 per cent protection against mumps.