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Concern on mumps complications
[Posted: Fri 02/04/2010 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
Doctors at the Mater Hospital in Dublin have reported an alarming increase in the number of teenage boys and young men developing mumps-related problems with their testicles.
Mumps orchitis is a complication of mumps in which the testicles become inflamed. The onset is sudden, causing pain and swelling of the scrotum, and a raised temperature. It can lead to fertility problems.
A team of researchers at the Mater carried out an extensive review of five decades worth of research and statistics.
They found that boys who did not receive the MMR vaccine during the mid-1990s ‘are now collecting in large numbers in secondary schools and colleges and this provides a perfect breeding ground for the virus’.
“It’s estimated that as many as 40% of males who develop mumps after puberty can suffer from orchitis. This is of considerable concern as epidemics of mumps orchitis are now being reported more frequently in many countries worldwide,” explained urology research registrar, Dr Niall Davis.
Dr Davis and his colleagues are urging fellow healthcare professionals to offer the MMR (measles mumps rubella) vaccine to unvaccinated males in the 15-24 age group and to educate them about the condition.
During the pre-vaccine era, mumps was most likely to affect children aged between five and seven, with epidemics happening every four to five years. Globally, 290 cases per 100,000 people were diagnosed between 1977 and 1985. Since the introduction of the MMR in 1968, there has been a dramatic reduction in cases, with the USA reporting a 99% fall.
However the researchers pointed out that 15 years ago, there was a global shortage of the MMR vaccine. This, along with media scares about links to autism, inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease, led to reduced uptake, despite subsequent reviews concluding that such links did not exist.
“It is those unvaccinated boys that we are now seeing in our urology department. It’s estimated that as many as 42% of patients with mumps experience at least one complication. As well as swollen testicles, these can include inflammation of the ovaries in females, aseptic meningitis, acute inflammation of the brain, deafness and pancreatitis,” Dr Davis warned.
He said that the recent resurgence in mumps means that ‘a significant proportion of 15 to 24 year olds living in heavily populated environments are affected’.
Some of the key findings of this study include:
-Up to 50% of males with mumps orchitis will experience testicular atrophy, where one or both testicles reduce in size.
-Infertility is rare, but subfertility (reduced fertility) can occur in about 13% of patients, even if their testicles have not reduced in size.
-Up to half of patients can experience abnormal sperm for up to three months after recovery and 24% of adults and 38% of adolescents can still have abnormal sperm up to three years after recovery.
-There appears to be a direct link between high levels of testicular swelling and increased sperm abnormalities.
“Unvaccinated males in the 15 to 24 year old age group are more susceptible to virus outbreaks and have a high risk of developing mumps orchitis and long-term fertility problems.
“It is important that clinicians are aware of this epidemiological shift and the resurgence of mumps orchitis. They also need to ensure that male patients in this high risk group are vaccinated and educated about the risks and complications of the virus,” Mr Davis concluded.
Details of these findings are published in the international urology journal, BJUI.
For more information on the MMR and vaccines in general, see our unique Child Vaccination Tracker here
|David Posted: 08/04/2010 21:10|
It would be interesting to know what percentage of those treated had been vaccinated. 77% of those who developed mumps in a recent outbreak in New Jersey had been vaccinated.
|Anonymous Posted: 09/04/2010 10:12|
David - read the article. The enture report is based on the fact that the problems above are occuring in UNvaccinated males - that is how the virus spread to cause such problems.
|David Posted: 09/04/2010 14:10|
Spread amongst whom? Where are facts to back up that claim?
|polly Posted: 11/04/2010 15:00|
My 18 year old son recently had mumps, despite having had all his vaccinations including boosters. I would like to know what was wrong with the vaccines which were administered in the early 90's. Is this going to be another scandel for the HSE?
|Anonymous Posted: 12/04/2010 08:30|
David, again read the report. If you are not satisifed with it why don't you contact the author
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