The epidemiology of mumps in the UK: a preliminary study of virus transmission, herd immunity and the potential impact of immunization

Epidemiol Infect. 1987 Aug;99(1):65-84. doi: 10.1017/s0950268800066875.


Mathematical models and statistical analyses of epidemiological data are employed to assess the potential impact of mass vaccination on the incidences of cases of mumps infection and cases of mumps related complications. The analyses reveal that in the United Kingdom the average age at infection with the mumps virus is currently between 6-7 years and that the inter-epidemic period of the infection is approximately 3 years. The critical level of vaccine uptake to eliminate mumps virus transmission is predicted to be approximately 85% of each cohort of boys and girls by the age of 2 years. Analyses of published data show that the risk of complication arising from mumps infection is markedly age- and sex-related. Model predictions suggest that the incidence of orchitis will be increased, over the level pertaining prior to mass vaccination, by levels of vaccine uptake (by 2 years of age) that are less than 70% of each yearly cohort of boys and girls. Moderate (over 60%) to high (75%) levels of vaccine uptake, however, are predicted to reduce the overall incidence of cases of mumps related complications (especially those with CNS involvement).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Mumps / epidemiology*
  • Mumps / immunology
  • Mumps / prevention & control
  • Mumps Vaccine / immunology
  • United Kingdom
  • Vaccination*


  • Mumps Vaccine