Mumps Infection: What You Should Know

Mumps is not just an ordinary swollen cheek. It is a contagious viral infection of the salivary glands that mostly affect children. Adults too can contact the infection. For example, If a pregnant woman contracts mumps in the early stages of her pregnancy, she might be at risk of loosing the pregnancy.

Mumps affects the parotid glands, salivary glands, and somewhere in front of the ears. Mumps is largely caused by the mumps virus. Also, the mumps virus can also cause inflammation of the testis, ovary, pancreas.

Mosttimes, mumps are transmitted through the saliva of an infected person. The virus moves from the respiratory tract to the salivary glands and reproduces, however, causing the glands to swell.

Mumps can spread in the following ways: Droplets from sneezing or coughing, getting in contact with the saliva of an infected person, sharing cutleries used by an infected person.

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Symptoms of Mumps.

In some individuals, they may not show any symptom. Apparently, the symptoms an infected person may show can include swollen chin, painful salivary glands, fever, headache, fatigue and appetite loss, but in most infected person, symptoms of mumps appear 2-3 weeks.

The most common symptoms in infected persons can include:

  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulty in chewing.
  • Pain and tenderness of the testicles.
  •  Fever.
  • Muscle aches.

Prevention of mumps

Getting vaccinated against the virus stands to be the best way of preventing the mumps virus. The MMR vaccine is the vaccine that can be used to prevent mumps, measles, and rubella(MMR)

Usually, the MMR vaccine is given at infancy when they are just over 1 year old and again, as a booster.

Some other ways can be effective in preventing the spread of mumps virus such as

  • Maintaining personal hygiene like: Washing hands with soap and water frequently.
  • Since the infections can be contracted through droplets, it will be nice to cover the nose and mouth with a wipes/tissue paper when sneezing or coughing.

Tests and diagnosis of mumps

Diagnosis for mumps is not usually difficult. The symptoms of mumps is well enough to tell if a person is infected with the mumps virus. Also, doctor may want to check:

  • Inside the mouth to see the position of the tonsils – when infected with mumps, a person’s tonsils can get pushed to the side.
  • Take the patient’s temperature.
  • Take a sample of blood, urine, or saliva to confirm diagnosis.

Treatment for mumps

There is yet to be an approved antiviral treatment for mumps. The treatment for mumps is usually done by gettting the symptoms treated. Mosttimes, allowing the virus run its course is the way out. Also, drinking plenty of fluids- adequate water intake may help to relieve the symptoms of mumps.

Although, some other simple and home remedies can help relieve the condition. Such like:

  • Placing something cold on the swollen area to get some relief.
  • Gargle with warm salt water
  • Get sufficient rest and sleep.
  • Take painkillers like paracetamol.
  • Get sufficient rest and sleep.




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