Mumps is a viral disease that affects the salivary glands that’s easily preventable by a vaccine.Parotitis is highly contagious and spreads rapidly among people living in close quarters. The virus is transferred by respiratory droplets or direct contact with an infected person.

Only humans get and spread mumps disease. People are infectious from about seven days before the start of symptoms to about eight days after. Reinfection is possible but it tends to be mild.

About one per ten thousand people who are infected die and without immunization about 0.1 percent to one percent of the population are affected per year.Parotitis is more common in the developing world where vaccination is less common. Children between five and nine years of ageare most commonly affected. Fewer than 100 thousand cases per year are reported in India.

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How does Mumps affect your body?

Parotitis causes swelling in the parotid glands on either side of the neck. The cheeks can become swollen and fatigue, weakness and fever can occur. This disease can make eating painful. Parotitis may cause dangerous complications, including encephalitis, meningitis, pancreatitis, inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, and hearing loss.

What are the causes of Mumps?

Mumps is caused by an enveloped single-stranded, linear negative-sense RNA virus of the genus Rubulavirus and family Paramyxovirus.

It is spread from person to person through contact with respiratory secretions, such as saliva from an infected person and can also be spread by sharing eating utensils or cups.

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What are the risk factors of Mumps?

  • People who never got vaccination against mumps are at higher risk of getting this disease.
  • Travelers who travel to areas where this infection is common are at risk.
  • People having diseases compromising their immune system are at increased risk.
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What are the symptoms of Mumps?

  • Fever, headache and malaise- Mumps is preceded by these symptoms.
  • Progressive swelling of one or both parotid glands- This last for up to a week.
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore face and/or ears
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How is Mumps diagnosed?

Diagnosis can be made by determining recent exposure. But when the disease incidence is low, other infectious causes of parotitis should be considered such as HIV, coxsackievirus, and influenza.

Physical examination is used to done to confirm the presence of the swollen glands.

Test of saliva or blood may be carried out in case of complicated cases.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to check for any inflammation of the salivary glands; serum level of the enzyme amylase is often elevated.

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How to prevent & control Mumps?

  • Vaccination is the best way to prevent mumps.Vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) is generally given between the ages of 12 and 15 months at a routine well-child visit and later between 4 and 6 years old. The mumps vaccine is approximately 88 percent effective, with two drops.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid sharing drink, food, and utensils as these can all carry the flu or mumps viruses.

Treatment of Mumps- Allopathic Treatment

Symptoms of mumps may be relieved by the application of intermittent ice or heat to the affected neck/testicular area and by acetaminophen for pain relief.


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) – NSAIDs including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen and others are given to decrease inflammation and also for reducing fever.

Aspirin is not given to children due to the increased risk of Reye’s syndrome.

Treatment of Mumps- Homeopathic Treatment

  • Aconitum– This is useful at the beginning stages of mumps present with a sudden onset of fever, restlessness, anxiety, and great thirst.
  • Belladonna– This is prescribed for children having a noticeably flushed face and throbbing headache.
  • Mercurius– Prescribed for right-sided swelling of throat glands.
  • Phytolacca– This is prescribed when children with mumps have stony hard throat glands, especially on the right side.
  • Pilocarpinum– This remedy is for the mumps, although there are few known distinguishing symptoms that it offers, except excessive salivation and perspiration.
  • Pulsatilla– This is helpful in children getting mumps during puberty and experience swollen breasts or testicles.
  • Rhustox– This is indicated for children having swollen glands which are worse on the left side.

Mumps- Lifestyle Tips

  • Affected person should isolate themselves to prevent spreading the disease to others.
  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue or elbow to avoid spreading the disease through airborne particles.
  • Use a cold or warm compress to ease the pain of swollen glands.
  • Avoid foods that require lots of chewing and eat soups or soft foods, such as mashed potatoes or oatmeal.
  • Avoid sour food like citrus fruits or juices, which stimulate saliva production.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

What are recommended exercise for person with Mumps?

No specific exercise is recommended for people with mumps.

Mumps & pregnancy- Things to know

  • The incidence of mumps infection during pregnancy is 0.8 to 10 cases per 10,000 pregnancies.
  • In pregnant women mumps may cause aseptic meningitis, mastitis, thyroiditis, glomerulonephritis, myocarditis, pancreatitis, and arthritis.
  • Mumps infection during the first trimester of the pregnancy has been associated with an increased rate of spontaneous abortion.
  • Mumps virus is capable of infecting the placenta and fetus but several studies have failed to demonstrate an association between gestational mumps and fetal malformation.
  • Congenitally acquired mumps may sometimes lead to respiratory distress in the neonate.
  • Neonatal thrombocytopenia and splenomegaly has also been reported following perinatalinfection.
  • However, the evidence of increased fetal loss to mumps during pregnancy is weak.

Common complications related to Mumps

  • Meningitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammation of the heart
  • Permanent deafness
  • Testicular inflammation; uncommonly leading to infertility
  • Ovarian swelling in womenbut this does not increase the risk of infertility

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