Rubulavirus or mumps virus is known to affect the salivary glands, predominantly the parotid gland and cause swelling, which is known as infectious parotitis or mumps. It is extremely contagious in nature.
It leads to a swollen jaw and puffy cheeks giving the patient a hamster-face appearance. Mumps spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes or a healthy person comes in contact with his saliva.
There is only a single type of mumps virus known to mankind that is responsible for causing the Mumps disease.
After getting exposed to the mumps virus, people tend to develop either mild or pronounced Mumps symptoms. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for the Mumps disease to show Mumps symptoms including:
The most common Mumps symptom making the cheeks to puff out is swollen salivary glands.
During the initial days of exposure to the Mumps virus, the patient is not contagious and there are no symptoms of the disease. The symptoms start appearing 16-18 days after the initial contact. This time period between the time of contact and appearance of symptoms is called incubation period. It can vary from 12-25 days in most mumps patients.
Mumps is an infectious disease caused by a virus belonging to the family Paramyxovirus and is called Rubulavirus. It rapidly spreads from one person to another. The virus enters the body via the respiratory tract and moves to the salivary gland where it starts multiplying causing inflammation and swelling.
A physical examination will be performed if any indication of mumps is seen. He will look out for body temperature, any swelling under the cheeks, and position of the tonsils. Mumps can also be diagnosed by a number of other tests for accurate diagnosis.
Mumps treatment is done by allowing the body to fight the disease. No medicines are available to treat the disease. Antibiotics are not helpful as the disease is caused by a viral infection. Generally, the disease goes away in 1-2 weeks on its own. For a speedy recovery process, the patient can take the following steps:
Mumps disease can be prevented through proper Mumps vaccination. (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) MMR, the Mumps vaccine is the best treatment for preventing mumps. It can come as a part of the MMR vaccine or on its own. The MMR vaccine also defends the body against rubella and measles. The Mumps vaccine is given to an infant when they are just over 1 year old and again as a booster, just before they start school.
To avoid Mumps in adults, the Mumps vaccine, MMR can be given at any age; a doctor may advise Mumps Vaccine for Adults before travelling abroad to certain regions like India, some parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Pakistan. Some of the other reasons an individual may be advised to have the Mumps vaccination in adulthood is to avoid Mumps in adults especially if they are:
However, individuals are not advised to have the Mumps vaccination if:
The patient’s immune system is seriously compromised.
The patient has had an allergic reaction to neomycin (a type of antibiotic) or gelatin.
The patient is pregnant or soon to be pregnant (in the next 4 weeks).
Most people who are given the MMR vaccine do not suffer side effects and the disease itself cannot be contracted from the Mumps vaccine. A small section might develop a fever or a rash and possibly aches in their joints. Less than one in a million will suffer a severe allergic reaction from the Mumps vaccine.
Mumps Vaccine Schedule
Adults and children are recommended MMR or Mumps vaccine for protection against measles, mumps, and rubella. Children are supposed to get two doses of MMR vaccine. The first dose should be administered at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up-to-date on their Mumps vaccination.