Mumps cases rise in Delhi, NCR: Watch out for these top symptoms; preventive tips | Health - Hindustan Times
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Mumps cases rise in Delhi, NCR: Watch out for these top symptoms; preventive tips

By, New Delhi
May 02, 2024 07:17 PM IST

Amidst the summer heat, the rise in mumps cases in Delhi-NCR has raised concern. Here are signs and symptoms you must know along with preventive tips.

After an outbreak in Kerala, mumps cases are now on rise in Delhi, NCR and mostly affecting children from the age group of 6-7 years. The viral infection caused by paramyxovirus leads to swollen face, painful salivary glands, fever, sore throat and appetite loss. Cases have also been reported in Maharashtra, Hyderabad and Telangana in the past few weeks. While the condition is self-limiting and mostly has manageable symptoms, in rare cases, it can cause meningitis which could even be life-threatening, and deafness. (Also read | Mumps outbreak: Worrying symptoms to watch out for, preventive tips)

Delhi Mumps outbreak: Early signs that people shouldn’t take lightly include fever, headache, and fatigue as they progress to painful swelling of the salivary glands. (Freepik)
Delhi Mumps outbreak: Early signs that people shouldn’t take lightly include fever, headache, and fatigue as they progress to painful swelling of the salivary glands. (Freepik)

The disease spreads through infected saliva. To prevent getting mumps, it is advisable to get your kid three doses of MMR vaccine at 9 months, 15 months and 4 to 6 years of age respectively. Children and adolescents who missed the vaccination, can be given 2 doses 4 weeks apart.

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Washing your hands properly, practicing cough and sneezing etiquette, cleaning frequently used surfaces with disinfectants and getting vaccination can all help prevent against this infection.

"Amidst the summer heat, the rise in mumps cases is a concerning trend. Mumps is a viral infection that spreads swiftly, causing swollen glands and flu-like symptoms. Early signs that people shouldn’t take lightly include fever, headache, and fatigue as they progress to painful swelling of the salivary glands. Symptoms like severe headache, neck stiffness, or testicular pain warrant immediate medical attention. Prevention hinges on vaccination, maintaining good hygiene, and avoiding close contact with infected individuals. Treatment primarily involves rest, fluids, and pain management. Proactive measures are essential to curb the spread of mumps," says Dr Nidhin Mohan, Consultant Internal Medicines, Narayana Health City, Bangalore.

What is mumps?

"Mumps, also known as Acute Parotitis involves parotid glands and salivary glands below and in front of the ears. This disease spreads through infected saliva. It is caused by paramyxovirus, a member of the Rubulavirus family. It’s a contagious viral infection that affects the salivary glands and is easily preventable by MMR vaccine, which is already included in our National IAP/WHO schedule since late 1970s," says Dr Ankit Prasad, Consultant- Paediatrics, Fortis Hospital, Noida.

How does it spread?

Mumps resolves within days to weeks. It mainly spreads via airborne respiratory droplets through coughing or sneezing. You can catch it by frequently touching a contaminated surface and touching back your own nose-mouth area. It can also spread by saliva via activities like kissing or sharing drinks from the same glass.

Mumps symptoms

"Mumps typically manifest with distinctive symptoms, including swelling of one or both parotid glands, accompanied by pain and tenderness localized around the face, jawline, and ears. Fever, earache, body ache, headache, weakness, and loss of appetite are common. Mumps become apparent approximately two weeks post-infection, with subsequent progression to high fever and glandular swelling," says Consultant - Dr Jatin Ahuja, an Infectious Diseases specialist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

Signs and symptoms of mumps include swollen, painful salivary glands, fever, neck pain, headache, earache, sore throat, fatigue, and difficulty in swallowing leading to appetite loss. Scrotal swelling in boys may also be reported in some extreme cases, says Dr Prasad.

Prevention tips

Vaccination can play a huge role in mumps prevention. MMR vaccine can provide protection against the disease. However, it's important to follow hand hygiene measures and following cough and sneezing etiquette. It is also important to get the adults vaccinated as growing old can reduce your immunity.

"Given the highly contagious nature of mumps, Vaccination stands as the top of prevention, with the combined MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine serving as a pivotal tool. Administering two doses of the MMR vaccine to children provides robust protection against mumps and its associated complications. However, promoting hand hygiene practices, including regular washing with soap and water, and advocating for respiratory etiquette, such as covering the face during coughing or sneezing, are integral in reducing transmission," says Dr Ahuja.

"It's crucial to highlight the importance of adult immunization against mumps, especially for individuals in their 40s or 50s. As individuals age, their immunity to mumps may decrease, leaving them susceptible to infection or potential complications. Therefore, adults who may not have received the MMR vaccine in childhood or who belong to age groups where vaccine effectiveness might diminish should consider getting vaccinated," adds he expert.

Treatment/management

Dr Prasad says taking painkillers, proper rest, cold or warm compression and hydrating yourself well can help in managing this infection.

  • Pain killers, antipyretics, antacids, Lozenges to chew (in sore throat cases), antibiotics if required.
  • Proper rest
  • Practice hand- hygiene
  • Isolation
  • A cold or warm compression for swollen salivary glands
  • Drinking plenty of fluids/home-cooked soft diet

"This is important to note that there exists no specific antiviral therapy for mumps. Treatment primarily focuses on alleviating symptoms and managing complications, emphasizing rest, adequate hydration, and symptomatic relief. Analgesics and antipyretics may be prescribed to alleviate pain and fever, respectively. Medical consultation is advised for individuals experiencing mumps-related symptoms, facilitating early diagnosis and appropriate management," concludes Dr Ahuja.

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