What is Mumps?
Mumps is a highly contagious viral infection that causes swelling of the parotid glands located at the side of the face.
The mumps virus is spread in the same way as the common cold and flu viruses, through direct contact if you sneeze or cough, or through indirect contact if infected droplets are transferred to an object.
How common is Mumps?
Before the introduction of the MMR vaccine in 1988 mumps was a common childhood infection. Since then, the number of mumps cases has fallen dramatically.
In recent years the number of mumps cases has risen. An epidemic in 2005 caused more than 43,000 cases in England and Wales.
Once a person has had mumps, they usually develop immunity against further infections.
What are the symptoms of Mumps?
People who are infected with mumps are contagious for 1-2 days before the onset of symptoms and for 5 days afterwards. Symptoms usually develop around two weeks after being infected- the average incubation period is 17 days.
The most common symptom of mumps is the swelling of parotid glands. Other symptoms include pain and tenderness in the swollen gland, pain on swallowing, headache, joint pain, nausea, dry mouth, fatigue and high temperature.
How is Mumps treated?
There are no anti-viral medications that will treat mumps, so treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms whilst the body fights off the virus. Self-care includes rest, over the counter painkillers, plenty of fluids, and a cold compress to swollen glands.
If you have not received treatment or advice, or suffered any symptoms in the past five years choose a moratorium product.