Healthy Living

Are There Any Complications of Mumps?


Insidous mumps

Are There Any Complications of Mumps?

What Can Make Me Think That My Baby Is Having Complications?

Mumps develop a row of inflammations in the different parts of your child’s body. The intensity of the condition varies and the age of your child plays a pivotal role here. Inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) may occur on the 6-8th day after the inflammation of the saliva glands (very seldom 3-4 weeks after). The signs of this condition are:

  • Swollen testicles. This usually occurs on one side and often in unimmunized young men and teens.
  • Painful testicles.
  • Raised body temperature.
  • After the symptoms pass, you might notice that the testicle has shrank. 1 out of 10 men may become unable to have children as there is a significant drop in sperm count after severe inflammation of men’s glands.

Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) is a far more severe condition than meningitis, fraught with life-threatening consequences. This is the inflammation of the brain itself. 1 in 1000 individuals with mumps can contract this condition. Mumps encephalitis cannot be treated at home; it requires immediate hospitalization.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. Unlike bacterial meningitis, the viral form has a milder flow and passes within 14 days. The inflammation of the inner brain cover (meninges) leads to the following symptoms:

Mumps meningitis occurs in 1 out of 7 sufferers.

Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) is a common complication of mumps. 1 in 20 infected individuals may develop this condition. Pancreatitis is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Specific girdle pain and tenderness in the central region of your baby`s stomach
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea (watery, with undigested bits of food in the feces)
  • Slight fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Feeling of sickness
  • Fatigue
  • Very rarely, yellowing of the skin (jaundice) can occur

Inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breasts (mastitis) usually affects young women who have reached their puberty. These complications are followed with:

  • Dull or acute pain in the lower stomach and in the breasts
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Painful period (menstruation)
  • Nausea and vomiting as the reaction to pain

The symptoms disappear once the young woman recovers from mumps.

Temporary deafness may occur in 1 out of 20 patients. 1 out of 20,000 may lose hearing completely after a severe form of mumps, especially in the group of unvaccinated children.

What If I Came in Contact with an Infected Person During My Pregnancy?

There is no evidence about harsh complication, such as miscarriage, in pregnant women who had close contact with an individual with mumps. However, it’s strongly recommended to avoid any interaction with people who contracted any infectious disease while you are pregnant.

MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine contains live microorganisms. Thus, you cannot be vaccinated while pregnant. Breast feeding women can get the MMR vaccine.

When Do I call a GP?

If you have noticed any of the above symptoms, it is recommended that you contact your doctor immediately as your baby’s life could be at risk, especially in the case of encephalitis. With encephalitis, every hour is important and it is imperative that treatment is sought and received. If the baby receives the proper treatment quickly, it will lessen the chance of life-threatening complications.

How to Prepare for the Appointment

  • Ask for pre appointment restrictions that your child needs to follow.
  • Take note of the symptoms, their effects, and how long they have been present.
  • Make a note of previous medical history of the child.

What Are the Likely Causes of Exposure?

Mumps is highly contagious. Therefore, it is necessary to take proper care and avoid contact with other people before recovering fully. It spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Mumps can spread before the swollen glands appear.

How Is Mumps Diagnosed and Treated?

Generally physical analysis is done to confirm mumps. In order to be more accurate, a doctor might recommend a blood test.

Our bodies have built-in antibodies to fight infections, but sometimes they fall short. There is no cure for mumps. Thus, the best way an individual can treat mumps is by ensuring that adequate rest is taken and a healthy diet is consumed.

The symptoms for mumps can be eased with over the counter relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Aspirin should be avoided in such cases as it may lead to the development of serious side effects.

How to Prevent Mumps?

Another way to protect a child from mumps is by getting them vaccinated with measles mumps and rubella (MMR) shot. It is safe and effective in preventing mumps. Although, like any vaccine, the MMR vaccine does have some side-effects and potential complications such as mild fever, rash, etc.

It is important to note that the vaccine will only be effective as a preventative to the disease. Thus, if the child has already been infected, the vaccine will not help their condition.

How Does the Vaccine Work?

The vaccine contains live, but weak, MMR viruses; however, transmission of the virus due to the vaccine does not occur. The vaccine is given in the fatty tissues under the skin. There are 2 doses.

  • The first one is given at the age of 12 to 15 months.
  • The second is given at the age of 4 to 6. It can be given any time after 28 days of the first shot.

A single dose will not be sufficient to avoid an outbreak. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that both doses are administered.

Who Needs to Be Vaccinated?

  • Non-pregnant Women
  • Students
  • Hospitals, child care centers, and medical facility staff and doctors
  • People who plan to travel overseas

Who Cannot Get Vaccinated?

  • Women who are pregnant
  • People with severely weak immune systems
  • Those who have life-threatening allergies to gelatin or neomycin.

There are several complications involved if a person has mumps and it is crucial that medical guidance is taken for those who have it. It is usually said that a stitch in time saves nine, and it is true in this case.