Mumps

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Overview

Mumps is a viral of the parotid glands (one of the three pairs of salivary glands). This infection leads to swelling of the parotid gland. Ever since vaccination against mumps virus became routine, it has become fairly rare, but it has serious complications, so it is still important to get vaccinations done.

Causes

Mumps is a viral infection and can be transmitted from person to person via saliva. The saliva can be transmitted by sharing utensils and cups, or inhaling saliva droplets from the air when someone sneezes or coughs.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of this health condition appear about 2-3 weeks after the infection. These symptoms are mostly mild or moderate, but sometimes it involves some serious complications. The following signs and symptoms can be found:

  • Swollen and painful parotid glands
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain on swallowing

Dangerous complications of this infection include:

  • Testicular inflammation
  • Pancreatic inflammation
  • Inflammation of the brain tissue
  • Hearing loss

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of mumps is made clinically, by symptoms and physical exam, for the confirmation of the diagnosis, a blood test can be done to detect antibodies against the mumps virus in the blood.

Treatment

Treatment is mainly supportive, as mumps has no cure. It resolves on its own spontaneously in about two weeks. At this time the following measures should be taken:

  • Bed rest
  • Adequate fluid intake
  • Isolation of patient
  • Over the counter pain relievers
  • Warm or cold compress
  • Avoid sour foods, or foods that require too much chewing
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