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A retrospective survey is described of 2,482 cases of mumps (1,513 males and 969 females) treated in a number of infectious disease units in England and Wales. About half the patients were under 15 years of age. Complications were recorded in 42 per cent of all cases (53 per cent of males and 25 per cent of females), the commonest complication in both sexes being involvement of the central nervous system. Three patients died, but in two of these there was serious underlying illness unrelated to mumps and in the remaining case a review of the records suggests, in retrospect, some doubt about the diagnosis of mumps. Deafness due to involvement of the eighth cranial nerve was the only permanent sequel recorded and occurred in five patients.
From the results of this survey it is concluded that there is little need for general vaccination against mumps, although there might be an indication for vaccinating certain groups of the male population.