Key Information About Mumps
Mumps is a rare viral infection that affects the salivary glands. It is also known as parotitis.
Mumps is caused by a virus that is part of the paramyxovirus family.
It can be transmitted by respiratory secretions (e.g. saliva) from a person already affected with the condition.
If you are not immune, you can contract mumps by breathing in saliva droplets from an infected person who has just sneezed or coughed.
You can also contract mumps from sharing utensils or cups with someone who has mumps.
“Folks are usually infectious from a few days before to five days after the onset of jaw swelling, and any person that is suspected of having mumps while waiting for a confirmation diagnosis is typically isolated for that period of five days,” said Michelle Camarena, director of nursing and performance improvement at Campus Health.
Mumps begins with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands.
Way back in the 5th Century BCE, Hippocrates is thought to be the first person to have recorded the symptoms of the disease.
The goal of mumps treatment is to provide the patient relief from symptoms. The average recovery period is around a fortnight.
Mumps without associated major complications is treated on an outpatient basis with supportive health guidance and continuity of care.
Patients diagnosed with mumps are isolated for around five days from the onset of symptoms to minimize the risk of infecting others.
Paracetamol may be given for fever and pain. There is no specific antiviral treatment. Aspirin should not be given to children under 12 years of age unless specifically recommended by a doctor.
Call your child’s doctor right away if you suspect your child has the mumps. Your child should not be kept in the waiting room with other children.
Also call your child’s doctor right away if your child has any of these: fever above 103°F, shaking and chills, does not smile or play for even a few minutes every four hours, a severe headache or stiffness in the neck, severe stomach pain, redness in the eyes, or changes in consciousness or alertness.— Dr. James Fortenberry, MD Pediatrics; Pediatric Critical Care Medicine; Atlanta, GA
Vaccination is the best way to prevent mumps. It is included in the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines.
Two doses of mumps vaccine are 88% (range 31% to 95%) effective at preventing mumps; one dose is 78% (range 49% to 91%) effective.
Have you vaccinated your child against mumps?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Srikanth R