Mumps – What is Mumps?
Mumps is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It is spread from person to person through the air and contact with an infected surface. The illness generally causes a person to feel ill but can infect other body tissues. In more severe cases, the disease may lead to inflammation of the brain or testicle, deafness, or spontaneous abortion.
Mumps is a viral infection. It is transmitted through the air or by contact with an infected person. People suffering from mumps usually experience high fever and body aches, but it is possible to develop other complications. In some rare cases, the disease can result in inflammation of the testicles or the brain. A woman who contracts mumps during the first 12 to 16 weeks of pregnancy has a small risk of miscarriage.
Vaccination is an effective way to protect yourself from the symptoms of mumps. Adults born after 1957 should receive one dose of the vaccine. However, live mumps virus vaccines should not be given to pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Regarding treatment, mumps is usually treated with bed rest and a soft diet. Children with mumps should avoid eating acidic or hard foods and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen if they feel uncomfortable. Bed rest is also essential for boys; men must rest their testicles. An athletic supporter or adhesive-tape bridge can be used to support their scrotum. A cool compress can be applied to the area to ease swelling and help soothe the pain.
Mild mumps symptoms should subside on their own within two weeks. However, if you’ve recently been around someone with the disease, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. Mumps is highly contagious and can spread quickly. Symptoms will usually fade after a couple of weeks, but pregnant women should visit their doctor as soon as possible.
The incubation period for mumps is from when you are exposed to the virus until you begin to develop symptoms. This period varies from person to person and lasts four to 10 days. You can get the mumps virus from someone by direct contact or from touching their hands. The virus can spread from person to person through hand-to-hand contact, but there are certain precautions you can take to reduce your chances of getting infected.
Respiratory droplets transmit the virus from an infected person. These droplets can be transferred to a new person through direct contact with a person’s respiratory secretions or saliva. Mumps cannot be transmitted to animals. If you think you might have contracted the disease, you should isolate yourself from other susceptible individuals for at least five days.
People who have never been vaccinated should be closely monitored for mumps. In addition, patients with parotitis or any other salivary gland inflammation should be tested for mumps.
Treatment of mumps involves the administration of medicines to reduce fever and pain and rest for the first few days of the illness. Children younger than six months are usually advised to stay home until the swelling and pain subside. Patients should also avoid consuming acidic foods and alcohol and apply cool compresses to the swollen glands. Immunization is also recommended. Vaccination against mumps can significantly reduce the symptoms of this illness.
Mumps is contagious, and if it is not treated promptly, the condition can lead to complications, including encephalitis and meningitis. The infection can also affect the testicles, ovaries, parotid glands, and the brain. A healthcare provider can confirm the diagnosis by obtaining a urine or saliva culture.
The symptoms of mumps are often challenging to diagnose. However, a physician can perform tests to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other illnesses that might cause the symptoms. A physician will take a swab or blood specimen and send it to a laboratory for further analysis.
The complications of mumps are rare, but they can include inflammation of the joints, ovaries, pancreas, and brain. Fortunately, the disease is highly preventable with vaccination. However, the disease can also cause damage to the ovaries and testicles and is rarely life-threatening. The best way to prevent these complications is to vaccinate children against mumps.
While mumps is a relatively rare infection in the United States, outbreaks are common. There were 179 cases reported in the United States in 2016, the largest outbreak in a decade. In Canada, there were 15 cases. Although mumps is rare in the United States, their complications are still severe.
The most severe complications of mumps are meningitis and encephalitis. The latter occurs when the mumps virus infects the central nervous system. Meningitis can be fatal. Symptoms of mumps can include severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and even hearing loss in one or both ears. There is also a small risk of miscarriage in pregnant women.