Risk that mumps not diagnosed

INFECTIOUS diseases physicians have called for greater awareness of mumps presenting as epididymo-orchitis, particularly among young backpackers.

Writing in the MJA, physicians from The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, report three cases of delayed mumps diagnosis including two men with epididymo-orchitis.

Complete childhood vaccination was no guarantee of enduring immunity, the physicians warned, pointing to recent outbreaks in the United States and the Czech Republic where 84% to 90% of patients developing mumps had documented mumps vaccinations.

Australians born between 1978 and 1982 were a susceptible population, and many young people from the UK were under-vaccinated because of the anxiety around the 1998 paper linking the vaccine to autism, they said.

“Although mumps orchitis is well described in the literature, some general practitioners and hospital clinicians may be relatively inexperienced in its diagnosis and treatment