Medical students from Penryn helped treat almost 5,000 patients at this year’s Glastonbury Festival – including one with a highly infectious case of mumps.

The University of Exeter Medical School took volunteers from its Penryn and Streatham campuses to the festival to gain real-life experience in treating patients en masse.

The case of mumps arose early in the week when a university student came forward with symptoms.

There is no treatment for mumps, aside from tending to symptoms until the body’s immune system is able to overcome the virus. Because of this, the 20-year-old’s weekend was cut short, as he had to be removed from the festival site and barred from returning to prevent it spreading.

Professor Ian Fussell, associate dean of education, who led the student group, said: “He was quite upset when we told him he had to leave.

“He had to be picked up and, once off-site, have his wrist band cut off. It is a shame but necessary for safety of others.”

Mumps, an airborne virus that can be spread by an infected person coughing or sharing utensils, causes swelling of salivary glands. Symptoms can include fever, muscle pain and poor appetite.

A large amount of cases the students saw were related to the extreme heat, with this year’s festival seeing near-record high temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius.

As a result of the weather, the team treated a significant number of people for dehydration and sunstroke.

Overall, the festival’s on-site medical team helped more than 200,000 people – and of the 5,000 the University of Exeter Medical School team treated, only 55 were transferred to hospitals off-site.

Among these was a man who had accidentally overdosed on drugs, with two of the students the first on scene to treat him.

Summer Popplestone, a third year medicine student, said: “The most memorable case for me was a young man who had accidentally overdosed on recreational drugs.

“My partner and I were the first medical staff on scene, and the patient was completely unresponsive and not breathing properly.

“Thanks to our training we were able to support his breathing and ensure his condition did not worsen while waiting for an urgent ambulance transfer to get him to hospital. I definitely learned a lot that I can take forward into the fourth year of medical school and beyond.”

To prepare for their time at the festival, all the students completed an intense emergency care training course.

Students from the university volunteer at Glastonbury annually as part of the Festival Medical Services (FMS) programme.

Niamh Scullion, another third year medicine student, said: “Volunteering as a first responder at Glastonbury was an incredible experience. Managing patients in loud, busy environments with much less kit than we are used to having in hospital environment was challenging.

“I have learnt so much from the experience and cannot wait to volunteer with Festival MS again in the future.”

The student volunteers this year were Lorna Ni Cheallaigh, Brian Donnelly, Mariska Peck, Summer Popplestone, Niamh Scullion and James Spittle.