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Mumps in Kerala UPSC NOTE

 What is mumps - Is Kerala the only State witnessing an alarming increase in the number of mumps cases in children and adolescents?

  • Mumps, an acute viral infection which historically affects children.

  • It has been spreading like wildfire in Kerala, for the past few months. 

  • Not just Kerala, a resurgence in cases was being reported from several States, including Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as well. 

  • Cases which began appearing sporadically around November 2023 in the Malappuram and Kozhikode districts of Kerala.

  • This have since then spread to Palakkad and Thrissur too, resulting in major community outbreaks. 

  • The case tally this year alone has reached 15,637, as on March 22, with 6,675 cases being reported this month. 

  • Such an uncontrolled surge in cases could lead to an increase in the number of complications of mumps, like meningoencephalitis or pancreatitis, public health experts fear.

Why have there been many school-based outbreaks in the State?

  • Health officials maintain that creating public awareness about the disease and the importance of isolation is the most important tool in bringing down the transmission of the disease

  • Mumps is primarily being reported in un-immunised children and adolescents and hence improving general immunisation cover is important. 

  • Transmission of the disease begins before the symptoms actually manifest and isolation of the patient for a full three weeks is necessary to limit the spread of the disease.

  • Health officials reckon that one of the reasons for the large number of school-based outbreaks in Kerala is because children were allowed back to school as soon as there was symptomatic relief, before the three weeks isolation period was up.

  • They hope that there will be a break in transmission and a drop in new cases once schools close for the summer break.

Why has the mumps vaccine been excluded from the Universal Immunisation Programme?

  • Despite being a vaccine-preventable disease, mumps has never been a part of the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

  • Because of the disease’s no-mortality profile and the perception that it has low public health significance

  • However, the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) has always maintained that the public health significance of mumps has been underestimated mainly because of the poor documentation of clinical cases, its complications and patients’ follow-up data as well as the lack of published studies. 

  • There is no nationally representative data on incidence of the disease

  • There is very little information on the actual long-term morbidity profile of the disease, even though the disease is known to have some impact on reproductive organs.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Mumps in Kerala UPSC NOTE
Mumps in Kerala UPSC NOTE
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