Mumps is a contagious illness caused by a virus that’s transferred through nasal secretions, close contact, and saliva.
Mumps related symptoms usually manifest within 2-3 weeks after exposure to the causative agent or virus. Flu-like symptoms might be the first to occur, including:
High fever and swelling of the parotid glands occurs over the subsequent days after infection. But, all the glands might not swell at once. Most often, they become swollen and painful periodically. You’re most likely to transmit the mumps virus to other people from the time you contract the virus, to the time your parotid glands become swollen.
Treatments for Mumps
Since mumps is a viral infection, it does not easily respond to antibiotics or other medications. Nevertheless, treatments aimed at alleviating the symptoms can be taken to suppress the severity of the condition:
• Rest when you’re tired or feel weak
• Soothe swollen glands through application of ice packs
• Take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen to reduce fever
• Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration
• Don’t take acidic foods or drinks that might worsen the pain in your salivary glands
• Eat soft meals like yogurt, soup, and others, which aren’t too hard to chew
The symptoms associated with the mumps often disappear naturally within two weeks after infection, and you can resume your regular schedule without endangering the safety of others. This implies that you are no longer contagious. Most people who develop mumps cannot contract the illness a second time. Contracting the virus guards your body against any further infections through the creation of antibodies.
Complications Caused by Mumps
Mumps doesn’t cause any serious complications, but they can become serious when left untreated for a long time. Mumps mostly attacks the parotid glands. Nevertheless, it can also trigger inflammations in other parts of the body for instance, the reproductive organs and the brain.
Orchitis is a swelling of the testicles that might occur due to mumps. This pain associated with this condition can be managed by gently placing ice packs on the testicles daily. Your doctor might suggest prescription-strength pain relievers if necessary. In rare occasions, orchitis can lead to sterility in men.
Women having mumps might experience inflammation of the ovaries. The swellings can be very painful, but doesn’t damage the ovaries long term. If a woman develops mumps while pregnant, she has a higher risk of miscarriage.
Mumps might lead to meningitis and encephalitis if left untreated for a considerable length of time. Meningitis refers to the swelling of the membranes surrounding the spinal cord as well as the brain. On the other hand, encephalitis is swelling of the brain. See your doctor if you’re experiencing severe headaches, seizures, or loss of consciousness whilst experiencing mumps.
Pancreatitis refers to inflammation of your pancreases, an organ located within the abdominal cavity. Pancreatitis induced by mumps is often temporary. Symptoms are vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea.
The mumps virus can also result in permanent hearing losses in about five out of every ten thousand cases. The virus destroys the cochlea, an essential component of the year that facilitates hearing.