Mumps is also known as epidemic parotitis. It is an acute systemic communicable disease caused by a single stranded RNA virus, paramyxovirus. It is characterized by painful enlargement of one or both parotid glands. The disease is widespread in distribution and is endemic in urban communities. Its peak incidence is in winter and spring seasons.
Transmission of Mumps:-
Mumps is highly contagious and spreads rapidly among people living in close quarters. Humans are the only reservoir of the infection. The virus is transmitted through by respiratory droplets, direct contact and through fomites infected with saliva. When an infected person coughs or sneezes the dropolets aerosolize and can enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person. It can also be spread by sharing food and drinks.
People are infectious to each other from a few days before the start of symptoms to four days after. After an infection a person is typically immune for life long. Reinfection is possible but it tends to be mild.
The average incubation period is 18 days. Mumps is preceded by a set of prodromal symptoms. One third of the patients are asymptomatic
- Low grade fever, headache
- Anorexia, sore throat
- Pain or tenderness at angles of jaws
- Difficulty in chewing or talking followed by enlargement of parotid glands within 24 hours. Two-third cases have bilateral enlargement, which resolves over a period of 1 week
- There may be pain in the ears
- Epididymo-orchitis characterized by pain and swelling of testis and epididymis, occurs within 7-10 days after onset of parotid swelling in 20-30% post pubertal males. Unilateral enlargement of testis is far common than bilateral. Testicular atrophy and sterility are unusual.
- Oophritis characterized by lower abdominal pain is less common but may occur in post pubertal females. CNS involve ment in the form of aseptic meningitis occurs in 10% cases, which is self- limiting. Occasional nerve deafness may occur. Encephalitis or encephalomyelitis are rare.
How to Prevent Mumps?
A live attenuated vaccine is available and may be given to children above one year of age along with rubella and measles vaccines. It confers lifelong immunity. MMRV vaccine also available which gives protection against mu8mps, measles, rubella and chicken pox
What is the Treatment for Mumps?
There is no available cure for mumps and the treatment is supportive. Analgesics are used to relive pain. Application of hot or cold compresses to the parotids may also help to relieve pain.