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General information

Number of cases of mumps in Switzerland

Numbers of cases in % of consultations per month

Incidence per 100000 people per year


Mumps is one of the classic children’s diseases. Until about 20 years ago the disease was endemic and occurred during childhood. As a result of MMR vaccinations the disease decreased drastically in the 80s. In 1993-1995, however, there were endemic outbreaks and a relatively large number of adolescents and adults were affected.

Like the measles mumps was considered to be a harmless children’s disease (which they still are today!). Complications only occurred very rarely (Manson AL. :Mumps orchitis.Urology. 1990 Oct;36(4):355-8. Review) and only in people whose immune system is compromised.

Since the vaccine was introduced the number of cases of mumps has gone down rapidly. But while fewer children are affected there is a relative increase in the number of small children and adults experiencing the disease.  ( During a mumps epidemic in Switzerland, about the same number of people who had not been vaccinated in a Swiss village fell ill as people who had been vaccinated. All of those who had been vaccinated twice fell ill which leads one to the conclusion that vaccinations result in people becoming weaker rather than gaining more protection. In a different study in Switzerland the effectiveness of the vaccination was only 47-77%  which apparently the fault of a “weak” virus strain (“Rubini”).(Zimmermann H, Matter HC, Kiener T:Mumps epidemiology in Switzerland: results from the Sentinella surveillance system 1986-1993. Sentinella Work Group]Soz Praventivmed. 1995;40(2):80-92. )

In January 2000, the BAG (Federal Office of Health, Switzerland) reported a new mumps epidemic. In approx. 70% of the cases documented in a questionnaire the children in question had been vaccinated (85%) as well as 15% of the adults (had been vaccinated).  Even when 70-80% of the people have been vaccinated this is an extremely high failure rate.(Impfen, Routine oder Individualisation, Arbeitsgruppe für differenzierte Impfungen2 Aufl. März 2000, S. 39)
Since then the recommendation in Switzerland is for all people who had been vaccinated with the rubini strain to be vaccinated again with a more effective strain

Mumps vaccination

Aside from local reactions at the site of injections there can be fever, symptoms which resemble the measles, middle ear infections. Autoimmune diseases, swellings of the testicles and diabetes mellitus have also been observed. Because the vaccination is generally administered in combination with measles and rubella vaccine it cannot be said with certainty which of the vaccines is problematic.

In 1994 Arzneitelegramm reported that mumps vaccines were the most frequent triggerers of parotitis. They occur in 5 of 100 people who have been vaccinated. (Arneitelegramm AT: 1994, 11: 109)

In a trial conducted by Otten, Helmke, Stief et al. the connection between diabetes and mumps vaccination was investigated. The researchers came to the conclusion that mumps vaccinations cannot protect from diabetes mellitus. Quite the contrary, it can possibly trigger it, if there is a disposition towards it (Otten A, Helmke K, Stief T, Mueller-Eckhard G, Willems WR, Federlin K. : Mumps, mumps vaccination, islet cell antibodies and the first manifestation of Diabetes mellitus type I.Behring Inst Mitt. 1984 Jul;(75):83-8.)


For more information please refer to:

Mumps disease

Mumps vaccination


Reported cases:
vaccindamage database

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