What is mumps?

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a Paramyxovirus. This infectious disease primarily affects the salivary glands, located below the ears. It is also called as the parotid glands, which are mainly responsible for the production of saliva.

Mumps disease is usually transmitted through the infected saliva, nasal secretions or respiratory droplets, and close contact with the infected person .

This viral infection is commonly seen in children and are minor but in adults it can be complicated.


Mumps Diagnosis

Mumps is diagnosed by a number of signs and physical symptoms. The most visible symptom is the swelling of the salivary glands near the ear. Other diagnosis includes the body fluid sample tests, including the blood and the saliva to check the presence of the viral infection.

Microscopic view of Mumps virus

What are the symptoms of Mumps?

Symptoms of mumps usually appear within two to three weeks of exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms of mumps disease are:

  • Flu
  • Muscle and joint aches.
  • Tiredness, and low-grade fever.
  • Pain while swallowing and chewing.
  • Mild pain near the abdominal region.
  • Swelling along with the pain in one or both the parotid glands.

What is the treatment for Mumps?

There is no actual cure or treatment availablefor this contagious disease other than supportive treatment. Antibiotics are not effective since mumps is a viral infectious disease.Usually, the general treatment for Mumps lasts between 8-10 days. The usual treatment for mumps includes:

  • Get sufficient rest and sleep.
  • Few painkillers are prescribed to reduce pain .
  • Regular consultation with a medical professional.
  • ice packs are applied to reduce swelling near the ear.
  • Ibuprofen is generally prescribed to bring down your fever
  • Soft and liquid diet like soup, juices, custards ,yogurt are advised for the patients to avoid painful chewing and swallowing.

How to prevent Mumps?

Vaccination is the only way to prevent mumps. Therefore, every newborn infants and children receive the vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) at the same time. It is called as the MMR vaccine. There are two shots of vaccines given to the children,. The first dose or shot is generally given to the infants between the age of 9 to 15 months and the second dose is given to the infants between the age of 15 months to 6 years.

Adults who have missed this vaccination can be vaccinated and especially those who work in a high-risk environment, such as a hospital or school, should always be vaccinated against mumps to avoid the invasion of virus.

To know more about Mumps and other viral infectious disease, visit BYJU’S.

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