Mumps is a viral infection that causes severe swelling and inflammation of the saliva glands. The parotid, submaxillary, sublingual, and buccal salivary glands are among these glands.
Mumps was a common paediatric infectious illness until 1967, when a vaccine was developed to protect kids against the virus that caused the sickness. Recent mumps outbreaks among teenagers and young adults, however, have prompted concerns regarding the vaccine’s lifetime protection.
What is Mumps?
The mumps virus causes mumps, which is a disease. Coughing and sneezing spread it quickly. Fever, headaches, body pains, weariness, and inflammation of the salivary (spit) glands, which can cause enlargement of the cheeks and jaws, are all symptoms of mumps.
Mumps is a contagious viral illness that causes painful salivary gland enlargement, particularly in the parotid glands (between the ear and the jaw).
Mumps can cause gland swelling in certain persons. Instead, individuals may feel as though they have a terrible cold or the flu.
Mumps normally go gone in approximately ten days on their own. However, it can sometimes result in problems that involve the brain (meningitis), testicles (orchitis), ovaries (oophoritis), or pancreas (pancreatitis) (pancreatitis).
The mumps vaccine protects you from the disease. MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella [chickenpox]) vaccinations include this vaccine.
The vaccine is given to the majority of youngsters as part of their routine vaccinations. Mumps was a frequent paediatric ailment in the United States and Canada before the vaccine was developed.
Who gets Mumps?
Mumps is most common in unvaccinated or under-vaccinated people in the United States, as well as in communal settings like schools or colleges, where prolonged, intimate contact causes the virus to spread from person to person. A person’s immunity to mumps is based on previous mumps infection.
Most people born before 1957 were most likely infected with the mumps virus and have natural immunity to it, according to studies.
Furthermore, persons who take two doses of the mumps vaccination have a substantially lower risk of contracting the disease. Older children, teens, and young adults are at the highest risk of infection.
When an infected individual coughs or sneezes near you, or exchanges food or beverages, mumps spreads. You can transfer the virus for seven days before symptoms appear and for nine days after they appear.
You’re most likely to transfer the virus one to two days before symptoms appear and five days after they do.
Mumps is most usually disseminated when someone ingests (swallows) or inhales infected person’s cough or sneeze droplets. The virus can also be transmitted by urine. Symptoms often emerge 14 to 25 days following infection.
One in every three persons who acquires mumps has no symptoms and is unaware that they are ill, yet they are still infectious and can infect others. A ‘carrier’ is a healthy individual who distributes an infectious illness without showing any symptoms.
If you’re caring for someone who has mumps, make sure you keep a clean environment.
Consider the following scenario:
- Wash your hands often, especially before handling, preparing, or eating food, as well as after using the restroom or changing a diaper.
- When eating or drinking, do not share utensils.
- Encourage the ill individual to cough or sneeze into a tissue as much as possible.
Mumps is characterised by a few days of fever, headache, muscular pains, weariness, and loss of appetite, followed by swelling of the salivary glands beneath the ears on one or both sides, resulting in puffy cheeks and a sore, swollen jaw.
Symptoms usually develop 16-18 days after infection, however this might vary from 12–25 days. Mumps can cause extremely minor symptoms (like a cold) or no symptoms at all, and some people are unaware they have the condition.
Mumps usually go away in two weeks for the most part. Mumps, on the other hand, can have catastrophic side effects in rare circumstances, such as:
- Testicles that are enlarged, perhaps resulting in a reduction in testicular size
- Breast tissue or enlarged ovaries
- Pancreatic inflammation (pancreatitis)
- Inflammation in the brain is a medical condition that occurs when the brain is damaged (encephalitis)
- Deafness (meningitis) is an inflammation of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord.
Mumps have not been demonstrated to induce infertility in either the testicles or the ovaries.
What is the time frame for Mumps Symptoms to appear?
Symptoms usually develop 16 to 18 days after being exposed to the virus, although they can present anywhere between 12 and 25 days following exposure.
The incubation phase is what it’s called. Some persons infected with the mumps virus do not show any signs or symptoms.
If a person is experiencing more significant symptoms, such as a stiff neck or a strong headache, painful testicles, or extreme stomach discomfort, they should get medical attention immediately once.
How is Mumps spread?
Mumps is transferred by saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat, which is disseminated by coughing, sneezing, or talking. The virus can also be shared by touching a tissue or sharing a cup that has been used by someone who has mumps.
Mumps patients are contagious for two days prior to the enlargement of their glands and for five days afterward. Symptoms usually develop two to three weeks after a person has been exposed.
Mumps outbreaks have been reported in recent years in places where intimate contact is frequent and protracted, such as colleges and universities, dorms, and other crowded places. Many incidences of mumps have been reported in kids who had gotten two doses of the vaccination.
How can you know if you have Mumps?
The enlarged salivary glands are generally enough for a doctor to diagnose mumps. A viral culture will be performed if the glands are not enlarged and the doctor suspects mumps based on other symptoms.
The interior of the face or throat is swabbed for a culture. The swab gathers mucus and cells, which are then submitted to a lab for mumps virus testing. It’s crucial to realise that salivary gland enlargement can be caused by a variety of viruses other than mumps.
What’s the Best way to get Rid of Mumps?
Antibiotics and other drugs have little effect on mumps since it is a virus. You may, however, address the symptoms to help yourself feel better while you’re unwell.
These are some of them:
- If you’re feeling fatigued or weak, take a break.
- To reduce your fever, take over-the-counter pain medicines such acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
- Apply cold packs to inflamed glands to reduce swelling.
- Stay hydrated to avoid dehydration caused by a fever.
- Eat a soft diet of soup, yoghurt, and other easy-to-chew foods (chewing may be painful when your glands are swollen).
- Stay away from acidic meals and beverages, which might irritate your salivary glands.
Pain relievers and lots of water are frequently the only treatments available. The first few days may need bed rest.
Adults should stay at home for 5 days after glands begin to swell, according to the CDC. Children should be kept out of school until their symptoms subside.
Adults and children with mumps symptoms should limit their interaction with others in their households. Basic hygiene behaviours such as careful handwashing, covering the mouth while sneezing or coughing, and periodically cleaning frequently-touched surfaces are also critical in illness prevention.
What is the Best way to keep Mumps away?
Mumps vaccination, administered in conjunction with measles and rubella (called MMR), is recommended for all children between the ages of 12 and 15 months, with a second dose suggested between the ages of 4 and 6. In most cases, the immunisation provides lifetime protection.
Furthermore, those who have the mumps should minimise their contact with others in the community for up to five days after their symptoms appear, since this is when they are most likely to spread the virus through their saliva.
It can also assist to practise excellent personal hygiene, such as appropriate hand washing, disposing of used tissues, and not sharing eating or drinking utensils.