Mumps & Measles

By: Megan Arney


What is Mumps?

Mumps is a contagious and infectious viral disease, causing swelling of the parotid salivary glands in the face, and a risk of sterility in adult males. Its disease classification is nosocomial and aerobic.

How does one get it?

You can easily contract mumps from person to person through infected saliva. If you're not immune, you can get mumps by breathing in saliva droplets of an infected person who has just sneezed or coughed, also from sharing utensils or cups with someone who has mumps.

So you can get mumps both indirect and direct contact. Everyone is a susceptible host for mumps. Kids initially are the victims but teenagers and adults can get mumps.


There's no specific treatment for mumps. Mumps outbreaks still occur in the United States, and mumps is still common in many parts of the world, so getting a MMR Vaccine will help prevent you from getting the mump virus.

MMR vaccine is an immunization vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). It is a mixture of live attenuated viruses of the three diseases, administered via injection.

Mumps has become an uncommon illness, so it's possible that the signs and symptoms are caused by another condition. Swollen salivary glands and a fever could be an indication of inflamed tonsils (tonsillitis) or a blocked salivary gland.

Your immune system uses fever as a weapon to fight off the virus. It is trying, to gain an advantage over the infectious agents. This makes your body less favorable as a host for replicating viruses and bacteria, which are temperature sensitive.

Infection Cycle

The incubation period of mumps is 14 to 18 days. Parotitis tends to occur within the first 2 days and may first be noted as earache and tenderness on palpation of the angle of the jaw. Symptoms tend to decrease after 1 week and usually resolve after 10 days.


  • Swollen, painful salivary glands on one or both sides of your face (parotitis)

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Weakness and fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Pain while chewing or swallowing


Complications of mumps are potentially serious, but rare.

Most mumps complications involve inflammation and swelling in some part of the body, such as:

  • Testicles. This condition, known as orchitis, causes one or both testicles to swell in males who've reached puberty. Orchitis is painful, but it rarely leads to sterility — the inability to father a child.

  • Pancreas. The signs and symptoms of this condition, known as pancreatitis, include pain in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting.

  • Ovaries and breasts. Females who've reached puberty may have inflammation in the ovaries (oophoritis) or breasts (mastitis). Fertility is rarely affected.

  • Brain. A viral infection, such as mumps, can lead to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). Encephalitis can lead to neurological problems and become life-threatening.

  • Membranes and fluid around the brain and spinal cord. This condition, known as meningitis, can occur if the mumps virus spreads through your bloodstream to infect your central nervous system.

Other complications

  • Hearing loss. In rare cases, mumps can cause hearing loss, usually permanent, in one or both ears.

  • Miscarriage. Although it isn't proved, contracting mumps while you're pregnant, especially early on, may lead to miscarriage


What is Measles?

Measles is a virus. A serious respiratory disease that causes a rash and fever. It is very contagious. In rare cases, it can be deadly. Its disease classification is endogenous and aerobic.


  • Myxovirus

  • Vitamin A deficiency

  • Malnourishment

Mode of Transmission

Droplet , direct contact with nasal & throat secretions

You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to 2 hours after that person is gone. And you can catch measles from an infected person even before they have a measles rash.


The virus lives in the Mucus of the nose and throat of people with the infection. Physical contact and sneezing can spread the infection.

Infection Cycle

The first stage is the prodrome. Prodrome is very specific to measles and it requires an experienced clinical eye. A few small white spots may be apparent on the mucous membrane along the parotid duct in the mouth (or sometimes even around the eye). These spots are known as Koplik spots and take the appearance of the rash by a couple days.

After the prodrome stage the external rash appears. The rash usually lasts for 3 to 4 days and then fades following the same pattern from face, to trunk, to the upper and lower limb. The appearance of the rash also marks the beginning of viral clearance, which is typically complete by the end of the first week after the rash onset.If measles is uncomplicated, full recovery begins quite soon after the appearance of the rash.


Measles starts with a fever that can get very high. Some of the other symptoms that may occur are:

  • Cough, runny nose, and red eyes

  • Rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spread to the rest of the body

  • Diarrhea

  • Ear infection

Is it serious?

Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children. For some children, measles can lead to:

  • Pneumonia (a serious lung infection)

  • Lifelong brain damage

  • Deafness

  • Death