Missed vaccination during pandemic leading to sparing mumps cases in Mumbai | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Missed vaccination during pandemic leading to sparing mumps cases in Mumbai

May 04, 2024 09:30 AM IST

Mumbai pediatricians report a surge in mumps cases, with one leading to pancreatitis in a 10-year-old. Vaccination and hygiene practices are key for prevention.

Mumbai: A week ago, Sujay Mhatre, 10, was admitted to Dr. Indu’s New Born & Childcare Centre in Andheri with severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and swelling in the neck region. He was later diagnosed with a mumps infection. Dr. Indu Khosla, his treating pediatrician, said, “He had developed severe abdominal pain and vomiting. We admitted him because he was dehydrated. We later found he had pancreatitis and diagnosed him with mumps.”

Mumbai, India - Nov. 9, 2023: Dr Shilpa Varma, the doctor who treatment to Mumps patient 9 years old Zinath Fatima at Janta Nagar, Mankhurd in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, November 9, 2023. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)
Mumbai, India - Nov. 9, 2023: Dr Shilpa Varma, the doctor who treatment to Mumps patient 9 years old Zinath Fatima at Janta Nagar, Mankhurd in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, November 9, 2023. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

While Mhatre was discharged yesterday, Dr. Khosla and many city pediatricians said they are witnessing a rise in mumps cases in the city in the last two to three weeks. “We have noticed a surge in cases of mumps in children lately, with one instance—Mhatre—leading to pancreatitis, a serious complication. Monitoring for symptoms like swollen cheeks, fever, and abdominal pain is essential. Other complications include hearing loss and swelling of the testicles. Providing relief through pain medication and applying warm compresses can help ease discomfort. Parents should ensure their children maintain good hygiene practices and avoid close contact with sick individuals and take the MMR vaccine,” said Dr. Khosla, who also practices at Haji Ali’s SRCC Children’s Hospital.

The mumps virus, a type of paramyxovirus, spreads through direct contact with infected saliva or respiratory droplets. Vaccination, particularly with the MMR or MMRV vaccine, is key to prevention. Dr. Rashi Aryan from Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital notes a rise in cases, attributed to missed vaccinations during the pandemic. Although not part of the national schedule, the Indian Academy of Pediatrics recommends the mumps vaccine. Dr. Aryan reports no complications, with children recovering within 5-7 days with supportive care.

Dr. Tejal Shetty, a pediatrician at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, said they are seeing around 3-4 cases of mumps per week. “It is being seen because adults who are already infected with mumps are passing it to children. The causes can include infection from parents or other family members who are already infected, as well as dehydration. There is usually no need to admit the child to the hospital,” he said.

Earlier, the city saw a surge in mumps cases in November-December in some pockets of the city.

Dr. Bakul Parekh, a pediatrician in Ghatkopar and member of the Indian Academy of Paediatricians (IAP), underscores the absence of mumps vaccination in the national program, leading to low coverage and recurrent outbreaks. He stresses the need for its inclusion due to potential long-term complications, notably male infertility and mumps encephalitis.

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