A vaccine preventable disease
Identification & Definition
Mumps consist of painful swelling of the parotid glands. Symptoms in adults tend to be severe than in children. This highly contagious virus is transmitted via direct contact with an infected people or by respiratory droplets. Only humans are able to get and spread the disease.
History of Mumps
In 1934 Johnson and Goodpasture first discovered mumps virus. Before the vaccine this virus was most common among children. Mumps is preventable by two doses of the mumps vaccine. Most of the developed world includes it in their immunization programs, often in combination with measles and rubella vaccine. Without immunization about 0.1% to 1% of the population are affected per year. Widespread vaccination has resulted in a more than 90% decline in rates of disease. Outbreaks, however, may still occur in a vaccinated population.
Signs & Symptoms of Mumps
Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. This is a result of swollen salivary glands.
The most common symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis)
Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection.
Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease.
Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.
Transmission of Mumps
Mumps spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus in three main ways. The first includes coughing, sneezing, or talking. You can also transmit by sharing items such as cups or eating utensils with others. Lastly by touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.
Complication of Mumps
Mumps can occasionally cause complications, especially in adults.
- inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems
- inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
- inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
- inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breasts (mastitis) in females who have reached puberty
Recommended Control Measures for Mumps
- Two doses of the vaccine are 88% (range: 66-95%) effective at preventing mumps
- One dose is 78% (range: 49%−92%) effective at preventing mumps
- the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age
- the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age
Child with a mumps infection
Note the characteristic swollen neck region due to an enlargement of the boy’s salivary glands.
Adult with a mumps infection
As you can see one or both parotid glands can be affected. In this case it is one.