Any person with fever of more than 38 degree centigrade or 100.4 degree Fahrenheit, swelling of the parotid glands…located in either side of face, just below ears, along with any of the following symptoms: pain, tenderness of parotid glands, difficulty in swallowing, headache, joint pain, feeling sick, dry mouth, mild abdominal pain, feeling tired, loss of appetite if present can be suffering from Mumps.In the pre-vaccination era mumps was the main cause of viral encephalitis in many countries. By 2002 mumps vaccine was included in the routine immunization schedule of 121 countries/territories. In countries where vaccination was introduced and high coverage was sustained the incidence of the disease has dropped tremendously and circulation has stopped. Hence prevalence data is not available. In India out breaks and sporadic cases are reported throughout the year from all regions of the country. The Integrated Disease Surveillance Program has reported about 45 outbreaks of mumps from different parts of the country in 2016.
Mumps is caused by the mumps virus, which belongs to a family of viruses known as paramyxoviruses. Mumps is an airborne virus and can be spread by: an infected person coughing or sneezing and releasing tiny droplets of contaminated saliva, which can then be breathed in by another person; an infected person touching their nose or mouth, then transferring the virus onto an object, such as a door handle, or work surface; if someone else touches the object shortly afterwards, they can transfer the virus into their respiratory tract sharing utensils, such as cups, cutlery or plates with an infected person. The incubation period is around 15-20 days.
Whatever the status of symptoms, it is always necessary to consult qualified health care professional for management. Although there is no cure for Mumps, there are home care methods to make the situation more tolerable. These include the following: Rest in bed until the fever goes away; Isolate the person to prevent spreading the disease to others; over-the-counter pain relievers; Using warm or cold compress to ease the pain of swollen glands; Wearing athletic supporter and cold compresses to ease the pain of tender testicles; Avoiding foods that require lots of chewing, sour foods, such as citrus fruits or juices, which stimulate saliva production; Drinking plenty of fluids.
There’s currently no cure for mumps, but the infection should pass within one or two weeks. Mumps usually passes without causing serious damage to a person’s health. Serious complications are rare. However, mumps can lead to viral meningitis if the virus moves into the outer layer of the brain. Other complications include swelling of the testicles in males or the ovaries in females. If complications are present appropriate treatment is given.
The most effective way to prevent Mumps is through MMR immunization. Because of widespread vaccination of children, Mumps occur much less often than in the past. As with all other contagious illnesses, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and good hand-washing practices will help prevent the spread of the diseases. If affected with Mumps it is necessary not to be in contact with people, especially vulnerable people like children, pregnant women.Elimination of pathogen reservoir where the bacteria, viruses and parasites breed and multiply, educating people and health workers on early identification and faster management as we are trying through this video series will also probably help in the prevention of Mumps.
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