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Mumps outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations continue to be reported globally. Therefore, quantifying the burden of mumps morbidity accurately will be necessary to better assess the impact of mumps vaccination programmes. We aim to estimate the true morbidity resulting from mumps complications in terms of hospitalised orchitis, meningitis, oophoritis and pancreatitis in England during the outbreak in 2004/05. This outbreak in England led to a clear increase in hospitalisations coded to mumps for complications of orchitis in those born in the 1970s and 1980s and possibly for meningitis in those born in the 1980s. A simple statistical model, based on analysing time trends for diagnosed complications in hospital databases with routine laboratory surveillance data, found that the actual morbidity was much higher. There were 2.5 times (166 cases) more mumps orchitis cases in the 1970s cohort and 2.0 times (708 cases) more mumps orchitis cases in the 1980s cohort than complications coded to mumps in hospital databases. Our study demonstrated that the mumps outbreak in England 2004/05 resulted in a substantial increase in hospitalised mumps complications, and the model we used can improve the ascertainment of morbidity from a mumps outbreak.


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