What is mumps?

Mumps or mumps is a contagious viral infection caused by the mumps virus, which can cause painful swelling of the salivary glands, especially the parotid gland – the gland between the ear and the jaw.

Some people who get mumps don’t get swelling of the salivary glands, they get the illness like a more serious cold or flu.

Mumps usually goes away in about 10 days. But in some cases it can lead to complications such as inflammation of the brain (meningitis), of the testicles (orchitis), of the ovaries (oophoritis) or of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

The mumps vaccine protects against the disease, it is part of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox) vaccines.

Their placement is included in the mandatory immunization calendar and thus most children are protected from these diseases.

What are the causes of mumps?

Muas is a viral infection that spreads mainly through direct contact with secretions from the respiratory system of infected people.

When someone who is infected with the virus coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing the virus are dispersed into the air.

These droplets can be inhaled by other people who are close to the infected person, which can lead to infection.

In addition to this, the virus can also be spread through direct contact with infected secretions.

For example, if an infected person touches their mouth and then touches a surface or object, the virus can be transferred to the next person who touches the same surface or object and then touches their mouth, nose or eyes.

The virus can also be spread through contact with contaminated food or drink. If an infected person drinks from a cup or eats from a plate and then another person drinks or eats from the same cup or plate, the virus can be transferred.

The contagious period for mumps is usually about a day or two before symptoms start and lasts between 5 and 9 days after symptoms appear.

This means that an infected person can pass the virus on to other people before they even know they are sick, as well as in the first days after the onset of symptoms. < /p>

This is why it is extremely important that people avoid contact with others if they suspect they have mumps and consult a doctor as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of mumps?

  • Swelling and pain in the jaw. One or both cheeks appear swollen.
  • Increased body temperature.
  • Headache, earache, sore throat and pain when swallowing or opening the mouth.
  • Pain when eating acidic foods or drinks and liquids with a more acidic taste such as citrus fruit or citrus juice.< /li>
  • Easy fatigue combined with muscle and joint pain.
  • Loss of appetite and vomiting.

It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks after exposure to the virus for the first symptoms to appear.

This time is called the incubation period of the disease. Some people who are infected with the mumps virus have no symptoms.

If you experience the onset of more serious symptoms such as a stiff neck or very severe headache, painful testicles or severe abdominal pain, call your GP immediately.

How is mumps treated?

In most cases, recovery from mumps takes place at home, as patients are recommended to rest, but if complications arise, a stay in a hospital may be necessary.

If you or your child has mumps:

Use paracetamol to bring down the temperature and manage the headache. Follow all instructions on the paracetamol leaflet.

If you are giving medicine to a baby, follow your GP’s instructions about how much to give and for what period of time.

Never give aspirin to your child if he is under 20 years old, because he is at risk of developing Reye’s Syndrome.

Ice the swollen and painful areas. Place a thin towel under the ice to protect your skin.

Drink extra fluids to help normalize body temperature and prevent dehydration.

Eat soft foods that do not require chewing. Refrain from acidic foods and drinks.

Anyone with mumps should not go to work or school or go to public places at all for at least 5 days after the swelling of the salivary glands starts.

It is not necessary to isolate the patient from the rest of his family, because when the disease was diagnosed, they were already exposed to the virus that causes mumps.

In conclusion, it is important to emphasize that mumps, although usually a mild disease, can lead to serious complications in some cases.

In order to protect ourselves and the public, it is essential to follow vaccination recommendations.

Vaccines are an effective way to prevent mumps and other diseases. Also, if you have mumps-like symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Avoid contact with others to prevent the virus from spreading.

Finally, always follow the advice of health professionals and take care of your own health and well-being.

Mumps can be prevented and managed, and awareness and caution play a key role in this.

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