Chest | Allergy & Immunology | Mumps (Disease)
Mumps is a highly contagious viral infection with an incubation period of 14-18 days from exposure to onset of symptoms. The duration of the disease is approximately 10 days.
The initial symptoms of mumps infection are nonspecific (low-grade fever, malaise, headache, muscle aches, and loss of appetite). The classic finding of parotid gland tenderness and swelling generally develops the third day of illness.
Causes and Risk factors
Mumps virus is a single strand of RNA housed inside a two-layered envelope that provides the virus its characteristic immune signature. Only one type of mumps virus has been demonstrated to exist (in contrast to the many virus types that can cause the common cold).
Mumps is highly contagious and has a rapid spread among members living in close quarters. The virus most commonly is spread directly from one person to another via respiratory droplets. Less frequently, the respiratory droplets may land on fomites (sheets, pillows, clothing) and then be transmitted via hand-to-mouth contact after touching such items. The incubation period from exposure to the virus and onset of symptoms is approximately 14-18 days. Viral shedding is short lived and a patient should be isolated from other susceptible individuals for the first five days following the onset of swelling of the salivary (parotid) glands.
Serious complications of mumps include meningitis, encephalitis, deafness, and orchitis.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis is generally made without the need for laboratory tests.
No specific therapy exists for mumps. Warm or cold packs for the parotid gland tenderness and swelling is helpful. Pain relievers (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) are also helpful.
The MMR vaccine provides 80% effective immunity against mumps following a two-dosage schedule (12-15 months with booster at 4-6 years of age). ...