Surge In Mumps Cases Raises Concerns Among City Hospitals In Pune

Surge In Mumps Cases Raises Concerns Among City Hospitals In Pune

Surge In Mumps Cases Raises Concerns Among City Hospitals In Pune

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Lack of National Immunization Program for Mumps Vaccination Blamed for Recurrent Outbreaks

City hospitals in Pune have witnessed a notable rise in mumps cases, particularly among children, sparking concerns among healthcare professionals. According to doctors, there has been a significant increase in mumps cases, with five to six new cases reported daily in May, compared to the previous average of three to four cases per day in April.

Mumps, characterised by the swelling of the parotid glands on both sides of the face, is a viral infection that primarily affects children. Of particular concern is the surge in cases among children under eight years old. Healthcare experts warn that the uncontrolled rise in mumps infections could lead to severe complications such as meningoencephalitis or pancreatitis, along with potential long-term consequences like male infertility and mumps encephalitis.

A consultant paediatrician highlighted the increasing trend in mumps cases, emphasising the need for vaccination coverage. He suggested that the larger population of unvaccinated children contributes to the spread of the infection and called for the inclusion of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine in the national immunisation program.

Dr. Rajesh Dighe, the city immunisation officer at Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), explained that mumps vaccination is not currently administered under the national program due to its perception as a non-life-threatening infection. However, he assured that the MMR vaccination is available in private healthcare facilities.

Mumps typically follow a cyclical pattern, with outbreaks occurring every three to four years. Understanding this pattern is crucial for implementing timely preventive measures. The highly contagious nature of mumps underscores the importance of swift and effective preventive measures to contain its transmission.

Another consultant paediatrician and adolescent counsellor emphasised that mumps is often contracted in close-knit environments such as schools and daycares. She highlighted the importance of preventive measures like avoiding the sharing of contaminated items and promoting vaccination to mitigate the risk of complications.

An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist advised parents to isolate infected children at home to prevent further spread. He recommended measures such as adequate hydration, dietary adjustments, and adherence to precautionary measures similar to those for COVID-19, including hand hygiene and maintaining a safe distance.