Mumps is an extremely contagious viral infection that primarily affects the salivary glands located near ears (parotid glands). Mumps can cause painful swelling of one or both of these glands. It mainly affects children. The mumps can lead to severe complications like inflammation of the testis, ovary, pancreas, and meninges.

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SYMPTOMS:

The  symptoms usually occur 16-18 days after exposure and resolves after 7-10 days.

  • Painful swollen parotid glands.
  • Difficulty in chewing and swallowing.
  • Fever and headache.
  • Tiredness and loss of appetite.
  • Pain and tenderness in the testicles.
  • Muscle aches and general fatigue.
  • Dryness of mouth and joints pain.

CAUSES:

Mumps is caused by a virus that spread easily. It spread through infected saliva, respiratory droplets, or very close contact to the infected person. If someone is not immune, he can contract mumps by breathing in area where an infected person has just sneezed or coughed.

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COMPLICATIONS:

Most mumps complications involve inflammation and swelling in some part of the body, that can lead to potentially serious conditions.

·      ORCHITIS;

This condition causes one or both testicles to swell. Although orchitis is painful, but it rarely leads to sterility.

·      ENCEPHALITIS:

Mumps can lead to inflammation of brain (encephalitis). Encephalitis can be life-threatening.

·      MENINGITIS:

sometimes mumps virus spreads through bloodstream and infect central nervous system. It will then lead to inflammation of membranes around brain and spinal cord.

·        PANCREATITIS:

Inflammation of pancreas presented as pain in the upper abdomen plus nausea and vomiting.

·      HEARING LOSS:

Occur in one or both ears. Sometimes loss is permanent.

·      MISCARRIAGE:

If mumps occur in pregnancy, especially in early pregnancy, it may lead to miscarriage.

·       OTHERS:

These include oophoritis, thyroiditis, myocarditis and arthritis.

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TREATMENT:

Because mumps is a viral disease, therefore antibiotics cannot be used to treat it. Treatment can only help to relieve symptoms, until the infection has run its course and the body recovers. In most cases people recovers within 2 weeks.

  1. Get sufficient rest and sleep.
  2. Gargles with warm salt water.
  3. Take some pain killers and NSAIDs i.e ibuprofen.
  4. Use a warm or cold compress to ease the pain of swollen glands.
  5. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

PREVENTION:

The best way to prevent mumps is to be vaccinated. The mumps vaccine is usually given as combined measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) inoculation. To reduce the spread of mumps, MMR vaccine is often given at an early stage to build immunity to the virus. Two doses of MMR are recommended before a child enters school i.e between ages of 12-15 months & between 4-6 years. A third dose is not usually recommended, still this dose is recommended if someone is in an area that is experiencing an outbreak.

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