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Mumps

more about Mumps


Epidemic parotitis




Normal

Abnormal
  • Mumps refers to an infection and inflammation of the parotid glands -- the saliva-producing glands in the mouth responsible for secreting some of the chemicals that help break down food.
  • Mumps is a self-limiting infection most commonly seen in school-aged children (5-9 years old) that lasts 7-10 days.  It is highly contagious, and spreads via droplets containing the virus in the saliva of an infected person.
  • It can occur all year around, but is more common in the winter and spring.

  • Low-grade fever, feeling tired, poor appetite, and headache
  • Ear pain
  • Swelling and tenderness in front of and below the ear (where the parotid gland is located).  Swelling occurs on one side of the face before the other.
  • Eating or moving the jaw is painful
  • There may be complications:
    1. In boys and men past puberty, there may be pain, nausea, fever, and swelling of the testicles (orchitis).
    2. Pregnant women may abort (lose baby) if they develop mumps during the first 3 months of term.
    3. Hearing loss
    4. Meningitis -- irritation of the membrane or sac that protects the brain and the spine
    5. Painful joints
    6. Organs such as the ovaries, heart, kidneys, pancreas, and thyroid may be affected.

  • A virus from the Paramyxovirus family
  • The virus can be found in the saliva of mumps patients 5 -7 days before, and up to 9 days after the symptoms occur.

  • Based on history of exposure to mumps, physical signs, and symptoms.
  • In cases with atypical symptoms, blood is tested for IgM antibodies to the mumps virus.
  • Blood may also show high levels of a chemical called Amylase (in 30%).
  • A virus can be found in the saliva and grown in the laboratory.

  • Those who did not have mumps or have not been vaccinated against it
  • It will produce specific Proteins (antibodies) that will protect you for life from contracting the mumps again.

  • Eat soft foods that do not require heavy chewing
  • Tylenol for pain and fever (avoid aspirin in viral infections in children)
  • Apply ice, heated pad, or towel to swollen parotids (no longer than 15 minutes at a time).
  • If testicular swelling occurs, it helps to wear support
  • Drink plenty of fluids and rest as much as possible
  • Vaccinate all infants when they are 15 months old with the MMR (Measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine.
  • If you are not sure that you have had the mumps or received the life vaccine (first introduced on 1-1-68), the doctor can check your blood (for IgM) and vaccinate you if necessary.
  • Avoid vaccines if you are allergic to Neomycin (an antibiotic) or eggs.
  • Avoid vaccines if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant within 3 months.
  • Avoid vaccines if you have other illnesses (AIDS, Tuberculosis, Lymphoma) or are receiving special treatment (chemotherapy, radiation therapy, steroids, immunoglobulins), unless your doctor allows it.

  • Rest and consult with your doctor.  Keeping a good vaccination history can also come in quite handy.

  • Causes of parotid gland enlargement include infection (viral and bacterial) Sjogren's Syndrome, Sarcoidosis, tumors, and salivary duct obstruction.




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