Mumps: Causes and Symptoms

What is mumps?

Mumps is one of those childhood diseases that you wished you would never have. It is called epidemic parotitis in the medical field. It is a viral disease that was quite common during its pre-vaccination days. It is still a worldwide disease and poses as a significant threat to the health of third world nations.

Symptoms of mumps

If one has mumps, he or she will be experiencing painful swelling of the salivary glands most especially in the parotid gland. You might also experience fever and testicular swelling apart from the rashes that the illness supplies. The symptoms are not as generally sever in children but can be very pronounced in teenagers as well as adults. There are even more serious complications such as infertility or subfertility.

These consequences are rare in absolute terms. This particular disease is self-limited and will most likely run its course even before it wanes with no other specific treatment apart from treating the pain. Painkillers will work best to control the symptoms and the different types of discomfort that it may bring.

Causes of mumps

The mumps are caused by a specific paramyxovirus which is transmitted from one person to another by saliva droplets or direct contact with any articles that have been contaminated by a person’s infected saliva. The parotid glands which are the salivary glands located between the ear and the jaw are usually involved.

Those unvaccinated children which are aged between 2 and 12 are most commonly affected in 10-20% of the males but sterility rarely ensues. For the 5% of those who are infected, a viral meningitis occurs in around 5%.

In older people the central nervous system as well as the pancreas, breasts, prostate and other organs are the most vital targets that may be involved in the disease’s infection.

The incubation period of mumps is usually 18 to 21 days however it may also range from as few as 12 days to as many as more than a calendar month which is 35 days maximum. It is seen as a generally mild illness in children in developed countries.

After adolescence, the disease tends to affect the ovary which will eventually cause oophoritis for women and the testes which will cause orchitis in men. Those adults which are infected with mumps are more likely to have more severe complications and symptoms compared to their younger counterparts. Because of this, the illness is much more feared by adults than by children.

What is the treatment for mups?

There is no specific treatment. Supportive care should be given as needed. If someone becomes very ill, they should seek medical attention. If someone seeks medical attention, they should call their doctor in advance so that they don’t have to sit in the waiting room for a long time and possibly infect other patients.