Mumps is a contagious viral disease caused by paramyxoviruses and primarily causes the swelling of the parotid salivary glands. It is a mild disease primarily affecting the children in the age group 5-9 years, but may also affect adults with complications like Meningitis and Otitis. Encephalitis and permanent neurological damages can occur in rare complicated cases. People once infected with it naturally are lifelong protected against the disease. MMR vaccine is used globally to confer long-term protection against mumps in routine 2 doses schedule. Mumps is a self limiting disease and can not be treated but the patient feels better with support and care.
Symptoms of the disease:
Person affected by mumps will have low grade fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, loss of appetite and visible swelling of salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis). Symptoms normally take 16-18 days to appear after the infection, but it can take longer sometimes. It takes about one week to get rid of fever and glandular swelling resulting in full recovery of the patient. In rare cases this self limiting disease turns complicated by Meningitis, Encephalitis, Paralysis, seizures and cranial nerve palsies. Sensorineural deafness caused by mumps is one of the leading causes of deafness in children.
How is mumps contagious?
Mumps virus stays in saliva or mucus of the mouth, nose or throat of an infected person. The virus is spread through coughing, sneezing, talking, sharing food, drinks and utensils. Mumps infected persons are contagious from about 2 days before the salivary glands begins to swell and upto 5 days after the swelling begins. Mumps patients should be kept in isolation for 5 days after the beginning of glandular swelling is observed.