Around 80 cases of the mumps (called kusma in Norwegian) have been recorded in Norway recently, mostly among college students. The outbreak began in Trondheim, but residents of Oslo, Bergen and elsewhere along the west coast have also fallen ill.
Mumps is caused by a virus that leaves those infected with painful swelling of the glands in their neck. Symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headache, fatigue and, ultimately, the swelling. It’s mostly viewed as a children’s disease but can also infect adults, including some who were infected as children or had vaccinations that have worn off over time.
Doctors in Trondheim alerted state officials at the Institute for Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet) late last week. By then, cases were spreading beyond Trondheim. All students suffering symptoms that can be confused with flu were urged to undergo testing. Dr Karin Rønning of the health institute said the outbreak is believed to have been brought in by foreign students.