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- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Investigating Mumps Outbreak in Odisha, India: An Opportunity to Assess the Health System by Utilizing the Essential Public Health Services Framework
Mumps, a highly contagious, viral disease continues to spread in India, despite the availability of an effective vaccine. On November 24, 2014, we came across a suspected case of mumps in a 6‐year‐old boy in a village of Bhusandapur sector in Odisha. We initiated an outbreak investigation using standard techniques outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. This uncovered a silent epidemic of 94 case patients (10% of the population) over a period of 16 weeks between August and December 2014, in a single village, which had gone completely unnoticed by the existing health‐care system. Since the index case was one of the last case patients of the outbreak, investigation for immediate control was not a priority. Hence, we have used this exercise to describe the outbreak and identify causes that led to its nondetection. Age range of the case patients was between 2 and 40 years; 85 (90.4%) case patients were ≤ 15 years of age and 54 (57.4%) were females. Average duration of illness was 9 days. No child had received the mumps vaccine. The outbreak had led to a community expenditure of 538 USD. The exercise uncovered a number of weak links in the essential public health services within the health‐care delivery system in the area.