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14-06-2010 | General practice | Article

Mumps orchitis increase in young adults


Article abstract

Researchers have reported an "alarming" increase in mumps orchitis in pubertal and postpubertal men.

They recommend in BJU International that clinicians discuss mumps orchitis, and the associated fertility problems, with their male patients and offer the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to unvaccinated men aged 15-24 years.

Dr Niall Davis, from Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, and colleagues suggest that the recent outbreak of mumps, which began in 2004 when more than 56,000 cases were notified in England and Wales, is due to a reduction in the uptake of the MMR vaccine during the early to mid-1990s.

"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," notes Davis.

Men in this 15-24-year age group who develop mumps have a 40% chance of developing orchitis - a condition that puts them at increased risk of testicular atrophy and subfertility.

"GPs need to be aware of the resurgence in the disease and the epidemiological shift… and should counsel and offer the [MMR] vaccine to patients who have not been vaccinated," Davis told GP News.

The Royal College of General Practitioners supports a national campaign to encourage young men, and also young women, to get fully immunised against mumps with two doses of the MMR vaccine.

"The MMR vaccine can be given to individuals of any age, provided there are no contraindications - which are pregnancy and a month before falling pregnant, and immunosuppression such as cancer," the College says.

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Caroline Price