Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness that can affect anyone, but it is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15. In this blog, we will discuss the symptoms, treatment, prevention, and complications of mumps, as well as the importance of vaccination and herd immunity.
The most common symptom of mumps is swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands located just below the ears, resulting in puffy cheeks and jaw. Other symptoms may include:
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Painful swallowing
There is no specific treatment for mumps, but the symptoms can be managed with the following measures:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen for fever and pain
- Applying warm or cold packs to swollen glands to reduce pain and swelling
The most effective way to prevent mumps is through vaccination. The mumps vaccine is usually given as part of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. Children should receive two doses of the vaccine, with the first dose given between 12 and 15 months of age, and the second dose between 4 and 6 years of age. Adults who have not been vaccinated or who have only received one dose of the vaccine should also consider getting vaccinated.
Mumps outbreaks can occur in communities with low vaccination rates. When more people are vaccinated, it creates herd immunity, which means that the spread of the disease is slowed or stopped because a large percentage of the population is immune. However, when vaccination rates drop, the disease can spread quickly and cause outbreaks.
Mumps can lead to several complications, including:
- Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
- Inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
- Swelling of the testicles (orchitis) in males, which can lead to infertility
- Swelling of the ovaries (oophoritis) in females, which can also cause infertility
Spread of Mumps
Mumps is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can also spread through contact with contaminated objects or surfaces.
A healthcare provider can diagnose mumps based on symptoms and a physical examination. A blood test or a swab of saliva or urine may also be done to confirm the diagnosis.
Mumps in Adults
Mumps can affect anyone, but it is more common in children. Adults who have not been vaccinated or have only received one dose of the vaccine are at a higher risk of getting mumps.
Mumps in Children
Children between the ages of 5 and 15 are most at risk of getting mumps. Symptoms may be more severe in children than in adults.
Mumps is spread through respiratory droplets and contact with contaminated objects or surfaces. Infected persons can spread the virus from two days before the onset of symptoms to five days after the swelling of the glands begins.
The mumps vaccine is typically given as a part of the MMR vaccine in two doses, usually at 12 to 15 months of age and again at 4 to 6 years of age. The vaccine is highly effective at preventing mumps, with two doses providing up to 88% protection.
Mumps is a viral illness that is caused by the mumps virus. It is a contagious disease that is spread through respiratory droplets from an infected person’s coughs and sneezes. The most common symptom of mumps is swelling of the salivary glands, which causes the cheeks and jaw to become puffy and tender. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
Mumps can be prevented by vaccination with the mumps vaccine, which is a part of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect against these three viral illnesses. The vaccine contains a weakened form of the viruses that causes the body to produce an immune response without causing the diseases.
The mumps vaccine is typically given as a part of the MMR vaccine in two doses, usually at 12 to 15 months of age and again at 4 to 6 years of age. The vaccine is highly effective at preventing mumps, with two doses providing up to 88% protection. Even if someone who has received the vaccine does get infected with mumps, the vaccine can help to lessen the severity of the illness.
Extensive studies and research have consistently shown that the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh any potential risks, and vaccination remains one of the most important public health measures we have for preventing the spread of infectious diseases.