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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 13, 2023  2 months, 1 week, 4 days, 15 hours, 58 minutes ago

BREAKING Medical News! Mumbai-India Hit By Outbreak Of Viral Mumps Infections That Is Causing Hearing Loss!

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BREAKING Medical News! Mumbai-India Hit By Outbreak Of Viral Mumps Infections That Is Causing Hearing Loss!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 13, 2023  2 months, 1 week, 4 days, 15 hours, 58 minutes ago
Medical News: In a startling turn of events, Mumbai, India, finds itself in the grip of a significant outbreak of mumps infections, creating widespread concern, particularly in the city's economically disadvantaged areas. Among the hardest-hit regions is Janta Nagar, a slum in Mankhurd, where residents, including children, are grappling with the viral infection caused by a paramyxovirus.

Shakila Khatoon, a 31-year-old resident of Janta Nagar, narrated her family's ordeal, with her daughter Zeenat, 9, and son Mohammed Kabir, 7, falling victim to the virus. She told local Medical News outlets, "My daughter was the first to be infected two weeks ago, followed by my son," shared Shakila, noting symptoms such as chills, fever, and body ache. Concerned about the swelling in their necks, she promptly sought medical attention at the local Mohalla clinic. However, despite seeking treatment, both her children developed hearing loss.
Dr Shilpa Varma, who heads the Mohalla clinic in Janta Nagar, expressed her astonishment at the surge in mumps cases, revealing that, since its opening on October 11, the clinic has been witnessing at least five to eight cases daily. "There are adults too," she added, emphasizing the contagious nature of the disease and advising parents to keep infected children at home.
The outbreak is not confined to Mankhurd alone, as pediatricians across Mumbai report a concerning uptick in mumps cases in lower socio-economic areas over the past six weeks. Vaccination, considered the primary preventive measure against mumps, is not included in the free national vaccination program, contributing to the rise in cases among socio-economically vulnerable populations.
Dr Amit Mhatre, a pediatrician in the Chembur-Mankhurd area, highlighted the limitations of the current vaccination strategy. "The government gives only MR vaccines - measles and rubella," he said. "Mumps needs to be included in the national immunization program." Dr Mhatre attributed part of the mumps epidemic to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, citing a lack of immunization during those months.

Dr Bakul Parekh, a pediatrician in Ghatkopar and a member of the Indian Academy of Paediatricians (IAP), emphasized the heightened risk of viral infections like mumps and measles during the winter months. Dr Parekh stressed the need for widespread vaccination, pointing out that 90 percent of the population should be covered to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
Dr Nehal Shah, president (elect) of the IAP’s Mumbai chapter, warned of long-term complications associated with mumps, particularly in males. "Apart from causing a drop in immunity for a couple of weeks, mumps can cause male infertility," she cautioned. Dr Shah echoed the urgent call for the inclusion of mumps in the national vaccination program.
Dr Vijay Yewale, ex-president of the IAP’s Mumbai chapter, shed light on the vaccination coverage gaps, noting that the Mumps-Measles-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is primarily available in the private sector. He stressed the importance of multiple doses for lasting immunity, a practice often overlo oked as children may receive only the first dose.
Unforeseen Complications: Mumps-Related Hearing Loss Emerges as a Disturbing Consequence
Adding a grim dimension to the mumps crisis, reports from Mumbai hospitals indicate an alarming rise in cases of hearing loss associated with the viral infection. Among the victims is a 7-year-old girl named Rehana, who lost her hearing due to an unusual manifestation of mumps. Doctors at KEM Hospital are awaiting a free cochlear implant for her.
This year has witnessed a surge in mumps cases, prompting the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to scrutinize the vaccination status of affected patients. Rajan, a mechanic, also fell prey to hearing loss in his right ear after contracting mumps. The BMC's provision of the MMR vaccine, offering better protection against mumps in Mumbai, underscores the need for comprehensive vaccination strategies.
Dr Hetal Marfatia, head of the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) department at KEM Hospital, disclosed that the hospital has recorded seven cases of mumps-related hearing loss in just one month, affecting both children and adults. The BMC, in response to the escalating cases, has initiated an analysis of mumps cases to ascertain the vaccination status of affected individuals.
Dr Daksha Shah, executive health officer at BMC, emphasized the importance of understanding the vaccination status to formulate targeted interventions. While mumps is generally associated with the pediatric age group, it can affect adolescents and adults, causing parotid salivary glands to swell. Hearing loss, either temporary or permanent, is identified as a potential complication.
Pediatrician Dr Nitin Shah, former president of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, highlighted the severity of mumps-related complications, emphasizing the need for widespread vaccination coverage. Dr Vikas Agarwal, an ENT specialist, expressed concern over delayed medical intervention, noting that parents often fail to associate mumps with hearing loss.
Early intervention is crucial to preventing permanent hearing loss, according to Dr Marfatia. KEM Hospital dean Dr Sangeeta Rawat underscored the potential for reversal if a steroid is administered promptly upon the onset of hearing loss.
Understanding Mumps and the Urgency for Collective Action
Mumps, caused by a paramyxovirus of the Rubulavirus family, manifests after an incubation period of 16 to 18 days. Airborne transmission through infected saliva or respiratory droplets makes it highly contagious. The most common symptom is swelling of the parotid glands, accompanied by headache, joint pain, nausea, dry mouth, abdominal pain, fatigue, and a high temperature.
The winter months, with cold and dry air facilitating virus spread, witness an uptick in mumps cases. However, in about 1 in 6 cases, mumps may be asymptomatic. Given the overlapping symptoms with other serious infections, it is imperative to seek medical advice promptly if mumps is suspected.
While there is no specific treatment for mumps, patients are typically prescribed medications to alleviate body ache and fever. Additionally, the application of cold or warm compresses on swollen salivary glands, coupled with adequate fluid intake, forms the basis of managing the infection.
The current crisis in Mumbai underscores the critical need for a comprehensive vaccination strategy that includes mumps in the national immunization program. The absence of mumps coverage has left a significant population vulnerable to the virus, leading to widespread outbreaks with severe consequences, including hearing loss.
In conclusion, the unfolding medical emergency in Mumbai necessitates swift and collective action to address the immediate challenges posed by the mumps outbreak and to prevent future recurrences. The inclusion of mumps in the national immunization program, coupled with increased awareness and accessibility to vaccinations, is crucial for safeguarding the health of the population, particularly in vulnerable socio-economic segments. As Mumbai grapples with this alarming health crisis, a united effort from healthcare authorities, policymakers, and the community at large is imperative to stem the tide of mumps and its devastating consequences.
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