Mumps or epidemic parotitis is a viral disease of humans. Prior to the development of vaccination and the introduction of a vaccine, it was a common childhood disease worldwide, and is still a significant threat to health in the third world.

Painful swelling of the salivary glands (classically the parotid gland) and fever is the most typical presentation. Painful testicular swelling and rash may also occur. While symptoms are generally not severe in children, the symptoms, in teenagers and adults, can be more severe and complications such as infertility or subfertility are relatively common, although still rare in absolute terms. The disease is generally self-limiting, and there is no specific treatment apart from controlling the symptoms with painkillers.


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Causes and risks:
The mumps are caused by a paramyxovirus, and are spread from person to person by saliva droplets or direct contact with articles that have been contaminated with infected saliva. The parotid glands (the salivary glands between the ear and the jaw) are usually involved. Unvaccinated children between the ages of 2 and 12 are most commonly infected, but the infection can occur in other age groups. Orchitis (swelling of the testes) occurs in 10–20% of infected males, but sterility only rarely ensues; a viral meningitis occurs in about 5% of those infected. In older people, the central nervous system, the pancreas, the prostate, the breasts, and other organs may be involved.

The incubation period is usually 18 to 21 days, but may range from as few as 12 to as many as 35 days. Mumps is generally a mild illness in children in developed countries. After adolescence, mumps tends to affect the ovary, causing oophoritis, and the testes, causing orchitis. The mature testis is particularly susceptible to damage from mumps which can lead to infertility. Adults infected with mumps are more likely to develop severe symptoms and complications.

Comparison of a person before and after contracting mumps.The more common symptoms of mumps are:

Swelling of the parotid gland (or parotitis) in more than 90% of patients on one side (unilateral) or both sides (bilateral), and pain behind the lower jaw when chewing.
Sore throat
Orchitis, referring to painful inflammation of the testicle.. Males past puberty who develop mumps have a 15 to 20 percent risk of orchitis.

Symptoms can also include:

  • Frequent vomiting (every couple of hours over a day or two) that does not stop even when not eating or drinking
  • Extreme sleepiness (lethargy)
  • Confusion
  • Irritability and combativeness
  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

In infants, the symptoms of Reye’s syndrome may not follow this typical pattern. For example, infants with Reye’s syndrome do not always vomit.Reye’s syndrome is a serious, life-threatening condition. If your child has had a viral infection and has any symptoms of Reye’s syndrome, call your doctor immediately.

Signs and tests:
A physical examination confirms the presence of the swollen glands. Usually the disease is diagnosed on clinical grounds and no confirmatory laboratory testing is needed. If there is uncertainty about the diagnosis, a test of saliva, urine, or blood may be carried out; a newer diagnostic confirmation, using real-time nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, has also been developed . An estimated 20%-30% of cases are asymptomatic.

There is no specific treatment for mumps. Symptoms may be relieved by the application of intermittent ice or heat to the affected neck area and by acetaminophen (Tylenol/Paracetemol) for pain relief. Aspirin use is discouraged in young children because of studies showing an increased risk of Reye’s syndrome. Warm salt water gargles, soft foods, and extra fluids may also help relieve symptoms.

Aspirin should not be used in children with mumps because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a serious brain problem that develops in children who have certain viral illnesses and have been treated with aspirin.

Patients are advised to avoid fruit juice or any acidic foods, since these stimulate the salivary glands, which can be painful.

Research treatments:
A research group published a 1996 report on a chemical extracted from Spirulina platensis, a species of blue-green algae, which inhibited Mumps virus in a viral plaque assay.
A University of Tokyo group reported in 1992 that research compound TJ13025 ((6’R)-6′-C-methylneplanocin A) had an antiviral effect on four Mumps virus strains cultured in Vero cells. Additional research improved the synthesis of a particular isomer, RMNPA, of TJ13025 from the racemic product. A 2005 publication in a Russian journal reports that Myramistin has antiviral activity against Mumps virus in Vero cells culture.

HOME REMEDY:Wet a pinch of NaHCO3 (Sodabicarb) with a few drops of water and apply over the face. Remove within a few minutes. Apply 2-3 times a day .

Ayurvedic Treatment Of Mumps
Homeopathic early-stage treatment for Mumps

Death is very unusual. The disease is self-limiting, and general outcome is good, even if other organs are involved. Sterility in men from involvement of the testes is very rare. After the illness, life-long immunity to mumps generally occurs. Mumps can be prevented by getting a vaccination.

Known complications of mumps include:

Infection of other organ systems
Sterility in men (this is quite rare, and mostly occurs in older men)
Mild forms of meningitis (rare, 40% of cases occur without parotid swelling)
Encephalitis (very rare, rarely fatal)
Profound but rare sensorineural hearing loss, uni- or bilateral

In children, mumps is generally a mild illness, and complications are rare. When complications develop, they may include:

Infection of the brain (encephalitis) and/or the membranes that cover it (meningitis).
Inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) or ovaries (oophoritis). .Orchitis. This inflammatory condition causes swelling of one or both testicles. Orchitis is painful, but it rarely leads to sterility   the inability to father a child.
Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), Hearing loss,
Miscarriage, which may occur in a woman who has mumps during her first 3 months of pregnancy. There does not appear to be a link between mumps and birth defects.1
Adults who are infected with mumps often have more severe symptoms and are more likely to develop complications than children. However, long-lasting problems from complications are rare.

Complications may require treatment in the hospital. Medications to relieve pain associated with orchitis, meningitis, pancreatitis, and other complications may be given. Treatment with other medications, such as interferon for severe orchitis, is experimental. Antibiotics are not given to treat mumps or other viral infections.
The most common preventative measure against mumps is immunisation with a mumps vaccine. This has been a component of the MMR immunization vaccine which also protects against measles and rubella and is now being supplanted by a combination of the three with Varicella vaccine – MMRV – which adds protection against Chickenpox. The WHO recommends the use of mumps vaccines in all countries with well-functioning childhood vaccination programmes. In the United Kingdom it is routinely given to children at age 15 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the routine administration of MMR vaccine at ages 12-15 months and 4-6 years. The vaccination is repeated in some locations between 4 to 6 years of age, or between 11 and 12 years of age if not previously given. Efficacy of the vaccine depends on the strain of the vaccine, but is usually around 80%.

Some anti-vaccine activists protest against the administration of a vaccine against mumps, claiming that the attenuated vaccine strain is harmful, and/or that the wild disease is beneficial. Disagreeing, the WHO, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the British Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain currently recommend routine vaccination of children against mumps. The British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain had previously recommended against general mumps vaccination, changing that recommendation in 1987. In 1988 it became United Kingdom government policy to introduce mass child mumps vaccination programmes with the MMR vaccine, and MMR vaccine is now routinely administered in the UK.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

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