Mumps is viral disease, infection of the salivary glands caused by a virus, contracted from one person to another by coughing or sneezing or paramyxovirus: Usually transmitted in an airborne manner, which enters the upper respiratory tract and infects regional lymph nodes (Filters along the lymphatic system, which traps bacteria, viruses, cancer cells and other unwanted substances. Safely eliminating them from the body). Also the infection can be spread to others, despite not having any symptoms or having a mild illness. Transmission of the virus is possible through direct contact with infected fluids or contaminated objects, including toys or dishes. Compared to measles, mumps is not as contagious. Primarily a childhood disease, approximately 95 percent of all cases, occurs in children under fifteen years of age. Mumps is contagious, and children start to show signs of this virus two or three weeks, after being exposed. Contagious spread of the mumps to others occurs from three days, before onset of symptoms to the fourth day after symptoms begins. Symptoms include, low-grade fever, loss of appetite, chills, swelling or tenderness of one or more of the salivary glands, in the cheeks and under the jaw. However, approximately one-third of infected people, have any symptoms. Confirmation of the mumps is through blood test. Adults are more likely to develop serious complications of mumps than among children. These complications occur in two out of four adolescents or adults, may experience painful swelling of the testicles (15 – 25 percent of infected males) and rarely sterility occurs. Further complications are rare, includes infection of the brain (encephalitis), and inflammation covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis: approximately ten percent of cases, and male to female ratio is 3:1). Also, arthritis, kidney and pancreas problems, inflammation of the breast tissue (mastitis), inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), inflammation of the thyroid gland or ovaries and deafness (1:15,000 mumps cases). Women in their first trimester
of pregnancy, have a risk of spontaneous abortions, if they get the mumps. Also, second and third trimester pregnancies have little risk of congenital diseases, and neonatal mumps infection is extremely rare. Those patients having the mumps and older than nineteen years old, mortality can occur, but is rare. Usually, children recover without permanent damage.
Vaccination is available for the prevention of the mumps or combination of a vaccine, which protects against measles, rubella, and mumps (MMR: “3-in-1” vaccine – introduced in 1988), and administered between twelve and fifteen months of age. However, five percent of children receiving MMR does not work, thus a second dose is recommended. Doctors have a difference of opinion, when this second dose should be given, either when the child enters kindergarten or entering middle or junior high school. A booster shot should be given between four – six years old. Occasionally, a child will get mild fever one or two weeks, after vaccination or swollen glands in the checks or under the jaw. Serious reactions are extremely rare. Also, children receiving MMR vaccine, rarely reported brief convulsions, happens one or two weeks after the shot. No evidence to link MMR vaccination to the development of autism, and confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. Children should postpone or not get the MMR vaccine, under certain conditions: Having a serious illness besides the common cold, life threatening allergic reactions after eating eggs or taking antibiotics, having a disease makes it hard to fight infection (cancer, leukemia or lymphoma), taking a cancer treatment and other causes determined by a physician. Also as a precaution, mumps vaccination should not be administered to women that are pregnant or given to women, considering to get pregnant within three months.
Besides recommended vaccination for the prevention of the mumps, treatment includes drinking plenty of fluids but avoiding tart or acid drinks such as orange juice and lemonade, bed rest, and taking medication to control fever. Mumps should not be treated with aspirin, instead acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Gargle with warm salt water to soothe sore throat. Placing warm towels can help relieve the discomfort of the swelling. Children with mumps should be kept home from school or daycare, at least nine days after swelling begins or until the swelling goes away. According to Center of Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine is ninety percent to 95 percent effective, and that immunity should last more than 25 years or probably a lifetime. Actually, after recovering from the mumps, confers immunity for life.
Since 1967, the introduction of the mumps vaccine has dramatically decreased a routine childhood illness. Prior to 1967, almost 150,000 mump reported cases per year, compared to about 1,500 cases a year currently. Occasionally outbreaks of the mumps can occur. Generally, mumps cases peaks during the winter – spring. Worldwide cases of the mumps are prevalent 85 percent of the time, in children younger than fifteen years old, depending on the extent of vaccinations. Since 1995, laws require school children to be immunized against the mumps in 43 out of 50 States, and day care immunization is required in 42 states. In April 2005, cases of the mumps increased to 815 in the state of Iowa, and accounts for the biggest epidemic, in almost two decades. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed that airline travelers could contract mumps and other airborne diseases, especially during the recent outbreak of the mumps in the Midwest, began in Iowa and has spread to six neighboring states: Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.