parotitis and salivary gland infections
How to Recognize Mumps Symptoms
The mumps is a viral infection that is commonly spread through the saliva of infected individuals. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for the mumps and it may lead to serious health complications. While there is no effective treatment for the mumps, being vaccinated can create an effective immunity against the virus.
Check for swollen cheeks.The best known symptom of a mumps infection is also often the last to present itself. The mumps virus affects the salivary glands in the mouth, which makes them swell and creates the appearance of swollen cheeks.
- The mumps virus will cause the cheeks to look swollen or puffy and feel warm to the touch.
- Mumps is actually named as such because “mumps” was the term used to describe the puffy lumps or bumps in the cheeks.
Look for flu like symptoms.The mumps virus might seem like a the common cold or a mild case of the flu when you first start to experience symptoms. In this early stage of infection, the only way you may be able to determine that your symptoms indicate the mumps is if you know you have been exposed to the virus recently. Common symptoms include:
- Fever and headache
- Weakness, muscle aches and fatigue
- Pain in the throat while chewing or swallowing and a loss of appetite
- Swollen, painful testicles in adolescent boys, or swollen ovaries in adolescent girls, which can cause abdominal pain.
Pay attention to the timeline of your symptoms.The mumps virus can be nearly impossible to diagnose until symptoms present themselves. Unfortunately, symptoms of the mumps virus can take weeks to become apparent, and tend to be rather minor early on.
- Symptoms of the mumps virus usually do not present themselves until two to three weeks after exposure to the virus.
- Symptoms may seem rather mild and are often misidentified as the flu or even just the common cold.
Seek medical treatment if you suspect you have the mumps.Schedule a doctor's appointment immediately if you exhibit these symptoms or if you have reason to believe someone you interacted with had the mumps. Most people get vaccinated to prevent the mumps, but if you are unsure if you you received the vaccine as a child, see a doctor to be sure.
- There are other illnesses such as inflamed tonsils, another viral or bacterial infection, or blockage of the salivary glands that could produce similar symptoms. See a doctor if you have any reason to suspect that you have the mumps.
- Let your doctor know about your concerns before you arrive at the doctor’s office to avoid long waits where you could possibly infect others.
Preventing and Treating Infection
Get vaccinated against the mumps.The mumps virus is no longer particularly prevalent today because most people are vaccinated as children. The mumps vaccination is usually combined with the vaccinations for measles and rubella, in the MMR vaccine. People who receive the vaccine are commonly considered to be immune to the virus.
- The vaccine is usually provided to children in two doses: one between twelve and fifteen months in age, and another at either age four to six or eleven to twelve.
- Adults that have not been vaccinated should also receive the vaccine in two doses. A single dose does not seem to provide sufficient protection against the virus.
Avoid contact with the saliva of infected people.The mumps is most commonly transmitted from person to person through infected saliva. It's important to avoid the saliva of anyone infected with the mumps virus.
- The mumps can be transmitted through the air via tiny droplets of saliva released through coughing or sneezing.
- Do not drink from the glass of anyone you suspect to be infected with the mumps virus.
Get tested for the mumps virus.If your doctor suspects that you have the mumps virus, a blood test is often conducted to confirm the diagnosis. Being tested for the mumps virus is the only way to know for certain that you have been infected.
- The blood test confirms a mumps infection by identifying the antibodies the human body produces to combat the mumps.
- An oral swab is usually also taken to confirm the presence of the mumps virus.
Be aware of possible complications.In the absence of complications, the mumps virus can offer a fairly easy recovery. Unfortunately, a number of additional medical issues can be caused by or exacerbated by the presence of the mumps virus. These complications are rare, but can be extremely serious.
- Inflammation of the testicles, breasts, ovaries, pancreas and parts of the brain can lead to significant health issues and even death.
- The mumps virus can cause hearing loss in some people.
- The mumps virus can possibly cause miscarriages in pregnant women.
Receive treatment for the mumps virus.Unfortunately, because the mumps is a viral infection, antibiotics cannot help fight off the mumps virus. However, there are several effective treatments while the person with the mumps is symptomatic, including rest, hydration, fever or pain control, and time.
- You can apply warm or cold compresses to the cheeks to help with the pain and swelling. You should also eat more soft foods and avoid sour foods.
- People are no longer contagious a week after a verified mumps virus test.
- People often recover within two weeks of a positive mumps test provided there are no additional complications.
QuestionIf the mumps test is positive, do I have it?Community AnswerYes. If any test ever comes out positive, you have whatever you were tested for.Thanks!
QuestionCould mumps cause swelling behind my cheek bone?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's possible, but I suggest seeing your doctor to be sure.Thanks!
QuestionIf had mumps as child, can I get them again as adult?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost likely not. A few people will get it twice. For most people having it once allows the body to develop antibodies and gives lifetime immunity.Thanks!
QuestionIs it possible for me to have mumps if I am 31 years old?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. If you have never been vaccinated against the mumps virus and are exposed to it, you can become infected with the mumps at any age.Thanks!
QuestionAt what age should the mumps vaccine be given?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is typically given as a toddler, so you should consult with your pediatrician to determine when the appropriate time to receive the vaccine is.Thanks!
QuestionHow long do mumps symptoms last?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe virus silently multiplies for 12 to 25 (usually 16-18) days before symptoms appear, if they do. The salivary gland swelling can happen quickly – within hours – or gradually over several days. The swelling and symptoms usually decrease and disappear over another 3 to 7 days.Thanks!
QuestionCould mumps occur in a child younger than 3 months?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMumps infections are uncommon in kids younger than one year old, but it is possible.Thanks!
QuestionCan mumps happen twice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. You can get the mumps twice, but this is very unusual. If you have the same symptoms as mumps, it may be some other disease. Check with your doctor if you are worried.Thanks!
QuestionCan I die from the mumps?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is very rare but possible.Thanks!
QuestionCan my child be vaccinated at age 15?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, they can.Thanks!
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