Mumps cases in England have reached their highest level in a decade, prompting health officials to encourage young adults to get vaccinated.

According to Public Health England (PHE), the number of cases of the painful viral illness reached 5,042 last year. This is four times the number in 2018. The majority of these cases were in young adults born in the late nineties and early 2000s who did not receive the MMR jab as children.

Public Health England stated two full doses of the vaccination would increase the level of protection against the illness. However, this is not enough to completely stop someone from getting mumps. Some individuals who have had their jab, are still getting the illness.

The National Union of Students has urged students to swot up on vaccinations.

England is not the only country that has seen an increase in mumps cases. Last year, there were reports of increased figures from Wales and Scotland.

Symptoms of the illness include painful swelling of the glands on each side of the face, headache, fever, joint pain, fatigue and a loss of appetite.