Mumps: causes, symptoms and treatment

Discover all about mumps: causes, symptoms and treatment . This viral disease is contagious. We tell you what effects it produces in the body and how to prevent it.

Mumps: causes, symptoms and treatment

Epidemic parotitis, commonly called “mumps” is a generalized infectious disease, which has an acute course and a viral nature. The essence of this disease lies in the fact that there is irreversible damage to the organs represented by the glandular tissue, as well as by the central nervous system.

This pathological process is found most frequently in children between three and fifteen years. Its danger lies in the high risk of developing serious inflammatory changes in the meninges, testes and their appendages, as well as in the pancreas.

Until the eighteenth century, it was believed that epidemic parotitis causes damage to the parotid salivary glands only. In the second half of the eighteenth century, several studies were able to confirm the pathogenic effect of this disease in the central nervous system.

The causative agent that led to the development of this pathological process was isolated in 1947. Currently, worldwide, there are between 300,000 and 600,000 new infections each year. However, the prevalence level of said infection was significantly reduced by the introduction of routine vaccination.

As we said, most of the people who get sick from epidemic parotiditis are children. In recent years, it has been observed that this disease has “matured” something. As an example, in the United States in 2006, around 30% of people who became ill were between 17 and 25 years old.

Causes of the Mumps

Etiology of mumps Epidemic mumps has a viral etiology. Its causative agent is a virus that belongs to the family of paramyxoviruses. As a rule, it is capable of causing the onset of inflammatory reactions only in the human body. However, unique cases of dog infection have been reported.

The virus is relatively not resistant to environmental factors. High temperatures, ultraviolet rays and chemical disinfectants quickly lead to inactivation. However, under low temperature conditions, this pathogen can maintain its vital functions for several weeks. The genetic material of this virus is represented by single-stranded ribonucleic acid.

The transmission of mumps occurs from an infected person. This is independent of whether you have any clinical manifestation or not. More than 30% of people who are ill carry this disease asymptomatically or with symptoms that are erased. With this pathology, the route of transmission of drops in the air is carried out. This infection is highly contagious.

Because of the degree of infectiousness, it is only surpassed by varicella and measles. However, after the disease has passed, persistent and lifelong immunity remains, which almost completely eliminates the possibility of repeated infection.

How long does the mumps last?

From the moment the virus entered the body, before the onset of the first symptoms, it can take 11 to 23 days. As a rule, the disease begins acutely. However, it can sometimes be preceded by prodromal signs. These include:

Mumps symptoms


Muscle pains

Problems in the projection of the parotid salivary glands

Moderate decrease in saliva production

Sudden increase in body temperature

In this context, there are other symptoms that indicate a general intoxication of the body. The sick person becomes apathetic. His appetite gets worse and chills appear. After a while, the clinical picture is complemented by inflammatory changes of the parotid salivary glands. In its projection, edema develops, but the skin retains its usual color. When palpation is detected, the glands become painful and pasty.

Due to the swelling, the oval of the face deforms significantly. The inflammatory process is usually bilateral. Sometimes the pathological changes can be located only on one side.

Often there are symptoms such as hearing loss and sensitivity in the ears. Due to the pain syndrome present, the patient has difficulty chewing food. The salivation is further reduced. As a general rule, adults are much more difficult to tolerate this disease.

In addition to the parotid glands, other salivary glands may be affected. On average, the clinical picture begins to gradually diminish after 3 or 4 days. The first is directed to the pain syndrome, and after a while the edema decreases.

Diagnosis and treatment of mumps

This infection is accompanied by a rather specific clinical picture, because the diagnoses in the overwhelming majority of cases do not cause any difficulty. However, the diagnosis must be confirmed by serological reactions, for example, by enzyme immunoassay.

Hospitalization is not indicated with mild mumps. Hospitalization will be necessary only for those patients who have a very pronounced intoxication syndrome or who suffer from some complication.

In the first days, antiviral drugs may be prescribed, and their subsequent use is not advisable. The detoxification is carried out, and the affected area is superimposed with dry heat or physiotherapy procedures are applied.

Prevention of mumps

The main prevention method is routine vaccination at the age of one year with revaccination after 6 years. In addition, it is necessary to identify sick people in a timely manner and seek their isolation, to avoid contagion.

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