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SASTM Newsflash - Mumps - Madrid,Spain


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SASTM Newsflash





The mumps outbreak that is currently affecting some youngsters in Madrid may spread. Mumps is mild and not a "severe" disease, but there can be no room for complacency, said Dr. Antonio Alemany, Chief of Primary Care. Dr. Alemany stated that the outbreak had begun at the beginning of the month [February 2013] and that the outbreak is not restricted to Madrid. He stated that it represents a new cycle of the disease, which tends to occur every 3-6 years.


He said that people "are more or less protected," depending on the immunogenic capability of the vaccines they might have received. Dr. Alemany explained that vaccines used in Spain before 1999 had a 50.5 percent antigen content [protective capacity?], whereas those vaccines used more recently, particularly those manufactured "using more advanced technology," have a "much higher protection capacity," between 88 and 90 percent. Dr. Alemany recognized that children vaccinated before 1999 have a 50.5 percent likelihood of being protected, meaning that "they do not have a complete defense" against the disease as a consequence of the characteristics of that particular vaccine they had received.


Dr. Alemany also stated that, from an epidemiological point of view, "being that this disease is quite communicable, we can expect that the number of cases of mumps in Madrid may increase," but he pointed out that there is no [reason] for concern "because of the typical characteristics of this condition." Dr Alemany also stated that: "It depends on the characteristics of the virus and climatic conditions, since outbreaks may occur more frequently during the cold season." Dr.

Alemany also indicated that cases of mumps are occurring in several autonomous communities, "since viruses do not recognize borders or geographical limits."


According to Dr Alemany, mumps is a common disease during infancy "that usually does not necessitate hospitalisation and can be treated at home with plenty of rest, lots of non-acidic fluids, with use of analgesics for alleviating headache or for temperature control." He explained also that in many cases, a person may have the virus and not develop the disease, or he/she may develop a mild form of this condition.


On the other hand, Dr. Salvador Victoria, Counselor of the Presidency and Spokesman for the Madrid Community Local Government, stated last Thursday [14 Feb 2013] that the outbreak of mumps recorded in Madrid "is similar to the situation occurring in other areas in Spain, and that it does not have a special significance."


According to the General Direction for Primary Care, the present situation is not a general outbreak, but it consists of "local outbreaks occurring in specific sites" in which "timely epidemiological investigations are being carried out." When asked about this situation in a press conference after the Government Council meeting, Dr. Victoria explained that the Madrid Health Council had changed the vaccine in 1999 that was provided at that time by the Spanish Ministry of Health; and he mentioned also that in 2007, a vaccination campaign was carried out in 9- to 12-year old children, "so they may have complete immunity against mumps."


Communicated by: ProMED-mail


[Outbreaks of mumps have been frequent throughout Spain in recent years. The symptoms of mumps usually develop 14 to 25 days after a person is infected with mumps virus. The average incubation period is around 17 days. Swelling of the parotid glands is the most common symptom of mumps. Both glands are usually affected by the swelling, although only one gland can be affected. The swelling can cause pain, tenderness, and difficulty with swallowing. Other symptoms of the mumps include: headache, joint pain, sickness, abdominal pain and fever.


Mumps is spread in the same way as colds and flu: via infected droplets of saliva that can be inhaled or picked up from surfaces and passed into the mouth or nose. A person is most contagious 1-2 days before the onset of symptoms and for 5 days afterwards. During this time, it is important to try to prevent spreading the infection to others, particularly teenagers and young adults who have not been vaccinated. Normally, infection resolves without complications and provides life-long immunity.


For unvaccinated persons born before 1957 who lack laboratory evidence of measles, mumps and/or rubella immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease, healthcare facilities should consider vaccinating these individuals with 2 doses of MMR vaccine at the appropriate interval (for measles and mumps) and one dose of MMR vaccine (for rubella), respectively. For unvaccinated personnel born before 1957 who lack laboratory evidence of measles, mumps and/or rubella immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease, healthcare facilities should recommend 2 doses of MMR vaccine during an outbreak of measles or mumps and one dose during an outbreak of rubella.


Two doses of mumps vaccine are 88 percent (range: 66-95 percent) effective at preventing the disease; one dose is 78 percent (range: 49-92 percent) effective. The 1st vaccine against mumps was licensed in the United States in 1967, and by 2005, high 2-dose childhood vaccination coverage reduced disease rates by 99 percent. Adults at higher risk, such as university students, health care personnel, and international travelers, and persons with potential mumps outbreak exposure, should ensure that they have been vaccinated.




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The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

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