Healthy Living

What Causes Mumps?

MMR vaccinations are meant to prevent rubella, mumps, and measles. This vaccine is the most effective way to prevent mumps. It’s often given to infants when they’re one year old and the booster vaccine is again provided just before they begin school.

What Causes Mumps?

Key Takeaways

  • Kissing
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Sharing cutlery and plates with infected people
  • Someone who’s infected touching their nose and then passing tiny droplets of saliva onto surfaces that may be touched by other people
  • Sharing food and drinks with an infected person

Mumps is a viral infection caused by a certain virus belonging to the paramyxoviruses family. This condition is common in children, teens, and young adults.
The virus might also get into your cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds and shields your brain and spine. Once it has entered,the virus can rapidly spread to other parts of the body including the testicles in men, ovaries in women, and the pancreas.
Ways through which mumps is spread include:

  • Kissing
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Sharing of cutlery and plates with infected persons
  • Someone who’s infected touching their nose and then passing tiny droplets of saliva onto surfaces that may be touched by other people
  • Sharing food and drinks with an infected person

People infected with mumps are highly contagious for about 15 days before symptoms become visible. For this reason, it is advisable to avoid school or work for six days after symptoms develop if you are diagnosed with mumps. This disease can also be transferred to people who are already infected with mumps virus but don’t show any obvious symptoms.

Tests and Diagnosis

Most often, mumps is diagnosed by visible symptoms alone, particularly by examining the swellings of the face. Apart from physically examining the affected areas and noting symptoms, your doctor might perform the following tests:

• Take blood, saliva, or urine samples for testing
• Check the inside of your mouth to establish the exact position of the tonsils. With mumps, an individual’s tonsils can get moved to the side
• Take a cerebrospinal fluid sample from your spine for testing. This is only done in severe instances.
• Check the patient’s temperature

Mumps: The treatment Options

Since mumps is an epidemiologic infection, antibiotics can’t be used to cure it, and presently, there are no anti-viral prescriptions that can treat the condition.
Available treatments are focused on alleviating the symptoms until the illness runs its course and complete immunity is restored. For most cases, patients recover from mumps within 14 days.

Helpful measures that can be considered to help relieve mumps-related symptoms include:

Getting sufficient sleep or rest

  • Drink plenty of fluids, ideally water. Don’t consume fruit juices since they can facilitate the production of saliva, which can be extremely painful for someone infected with mumps.
  • Eat soft foods and beverages because chewing can be painful.
  • Using ice packs on affected areas to relieve the pain.
  • Gargling warm salt water
  • Taking pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen

Prevention of Mumps

MMR vaccinations are meant to prevent rubella, mumps, and measles. This vaccine is the surest way to prevent mumps. It’s often given to infants when they’re one year old and the booster vaccine is again provided just before they begin schooling.

Adults can be vaccinated against mumps at any age, and a doctor might advise the MMR vaccine before traveling abroad. These areas are:
• Pakistan
• India
• Japan
• Certain parts of Africa
• Southeast Asia

Again, an adult might be advised to take the MMR vaccine if:
• Working in a medical facility or hospital
• Working or attending college
• Working around many children