There are some conditions that may cause discomfort to anyone. Not just because of the pain that it brings, but also the unwanted appearance it has. Just like mumps. This condition may cause the face to swell because of the inflammation of the salivary glands. Aside from that, the condition is also contagious, meaning, it may be transmittable a person to another. In this article, you will get to know the different causes, symptoms, as well as treatments for mumps. Give this article a read to know more.
Mumps: What is this condition?
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Mumps is a highly communicable viral disease that affects the salivary glands. It mostly affects children. It is often characterized by the swelling of the salivary glands, thus giving a patient a bulged face. The affected salivary glands are what they call the parotid glands. There are times that the virus that causes the inflammation may also affect the meninges, pancreas, ovary, and testes.
Moreover, mumps run along the angle of the jaw that is in front and below each of the ears. Children between the age of 5 to 10 are most probably to contract mumps. When you are already infected by the condition once, you will have a lifelong immunity.
Furthermore, the condition is most common in the month of March and commonly, it seems to be scattered individual circumstances. This is although there are some occasional local epidemics among unvaccinated children. The condition is less contagious than measles or chickenpox. Those adults who are unvaccinated and never had the illness are at much higher risk of the complications than the children. However, mumps rarely causes serious complications.
It is for a fact, that the condition can be prevented in 95% of all the cases by way of having a routine MMR vaccination during the childhood. Actually, in 1967, there is a dramatic reduction of the incidence of the condition. Moreover, in the 1950s, Canada had approximately 30,000 cases every year, but today, it became just under 100 cases every year.
Causes of Mumps
Mumps is because of an infection of a virus. It may be transferred by various respiratory secretions (for instance, saliva) from a person to another. In the event of contraction with mumps, the virus may travel from the respiratory tract up to the salivary glands and the reproduce. Thus causing the glands to swell.
Some instances of how mumps may spread include:
- A person with mumps touches his nose or mouth then passing it to some other surfaces, which someone else may touch.
- Sharing foods and drinks with someone who ahs the infection
- Using the same plates and tableware as the person with infection
Any individuals who have mumps virus may be contagious for about 15 days. Furthermore, the mumps virus is actually a part of the paramyxovirus family, which is actually a common cause of infection, specifically to children.
Symptoms of Mumps
Various symptoms of the condition usually appear 2 to 3 weeks after the patient has been infected. However, approximately about 20% of the cases who ahs the virus don’t suffer any symptoms at all.
The initial symptoms of the conditions are:
- Low-grade fever
- General fatigue
- Loss of appetite or nausea
- A headache
- Body aches
Other associated symptoms include:
- Joint pains
- A dry mouth
- High fever
- Trouble swallowing
- Pain when swallowing
- Pain in the side of the face that is swollen
In rare cases, adults may contract mumps. It is in these rare cases where the symptoms are generally the same. However, sometimes, it slightly gets worse and gets some complications.
Complications of Mumps
The complications of the condition are more often in adults than in children, here are the most common:
- Viral meningitis
Rarer complications include:
- Hearing loss
Treatments for Mumps
Due to the fact that mumps is viral, antibiotics may be beneficial in treating it. However, there are still no antiviral treatments for mumps even up to this day. Furthermore, current treatments for mumps may only help in relieving the symptoms up until the infection has run its own course and the body has already built up its immunity, more of like a cold. In most of the cases, people may recover from the condition within just two (2) weeks.
Here are some steps which may be taken to help in relieving the symptoms of the condition:
- Take painkillers, just like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Gargle warm salt water
- Get enough rest and sleep
- Eat a mushy or liquid food, since chewing might be hard to do and may be painful
- Place something cold on the swollen area to ease the pain
- Consume a lot of fluids, most especially water
- Avoid drinking fruit juice, since they may stimulate the saliva production, which may impose pain
Mumps is a sudden and discomforting illness. However, with the proper care, attention, and medication, all of its symptoms may vanish.