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Mumps

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Mumps

 

 

 

  

 

 

What are Mumps

 

Mumps is a viral infection caused by the mumps virus. Mumps were quite common amongst children before a vaccine was licensed in 1967. Now it is an uncommon virus in developed countries however under developed countries are still affected by the mumps virus. About one-third of people with mumps will have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2008). When symptoms do occur, they include swelling of the salivary glands, high fever and headache; males may have tender testicles, and females may have pain in the lower abdominal region (Hviid and Rubin and Mühlemann, 2008). Other symptoms of mumps include dry mouth, sore face and/or ears and occasionally in more serious cases, loss of voice (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, December 2008).

 

How Does Mumps Spread?

 

The mumps virus spreads by direct contact with droplets from the sneeze or cough of an infected person (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012).

 

Incubation Period

 

The incubation period can be 12 to 25 days; it is usually 16-18 days (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012).

 

Infectious Period

 

The infectious period begins up to 6 days before the glands begin to swell, and for up to 9 days after swelling begins (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012).

 

Treatment

 

There is no treatment for mumps, but it is a vaccine-preventative disease (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012). Symptoms may be relieved by the application of intermittent ice or heat to the affected neck/testicular area and by acetaminophen/paracetamol for pain relief. Warm saltwater gargles, soft foods, and extra fluids may also help relieve symptoms (Senanayake, 2008). Senanayake (2008) notes that children should avoid acidic foods and beverages, since these stimulate the salivary glands, which can be painful for them especially when chewing and swallowing.

 

 

References

 

FAQ For Young Adults, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, December 2008, Could I be infected with mumps without knowing it?

 

Hviid, A. and Rubin, S. and Mühlemann, K. (March 2008). Mumps. The Lancet 371 (9616): 932–44.

 

National Health and Medical Research Council (2012). Staying Healthy: Preventing diseases in early childhood education and care services 5th Edn. NHMRC, Canberra.

 

National Health and Medical Research Council, (2008). The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 9th Edn. NHMRC, Canberra.

 

Senanayake, S. N. (2008). Mumps: a resurgent disease with protean manifestations. Medical Journal of Australia 189 (8): 456–9.

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