Mumps is a viral infection that affects the salivary glands. As the name says, these glands are responsible for producing saliva and are present near the ear drums.
A human being has three pairs of major salivary glands namely parotid, sublingual and submandibular. Each gland has its own tube (duct) leading from the gland to the mouth.
Mumps can cause swelling in one or both of these glands. The cases of mumps infection have reduced drastically since vaccinations have begun regularly.
There’s currently no specific treatment for mumps.
The main characteristic of Mumps is puffed out swollen cheeks due to swelling of the painful salary glands. The symptoms of Mumps re usually mind or rarely showcased and they usually appear about two to three weeks after exposure to the virus.
signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain in the swollen salivary glands on one or both sides of your face
- Pain while chewing or swallowing
- Muscle aches
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loss of appetite
Mumps is highly contagious about 9 days after the appearance of signs and symptoms. In order to prevent spread of the infection, it is imperative to go see a doctor if any of the symptoms appear. It is ideal that you inform your doctor before-hand so that prior arrangements can be made to avoid others in the waiting room getting infected.
Rest as much as possible and try to ease symptoms with cold compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Anybody unvaccinated can be infected by mumps as it is a virus that spreads easily from person to person through infected saliva. The contact doesn’t have to be direct – breathing in saliva droplets from an infected person who has sneezed or coughed or even sharing utensils with the person can result in spreading of the virus.