Mumps is a viral infection that is characterized by the enlargement of the two salivary glands. The virus termed as myxo virus causes this disorder. The swelling appears beneath the cheeks, at the angle of the jaw. The major symptom of mumps is dry mouth.
The person will feel feverish and will have difficulty to swallow food. Headache is also likely. However, the irregularities will soon disappear and no lasting effects will be caused. In teenage boys, mumps is likely to cause swollen, tender, inflamed testicles. Rarely, sub fertility is resulted in some boys.
Mumps makes the pancreas inflamed. Pregnant ladies should take extreme care, as mumps is likely to lead to abortion. Though rare, inflammation of the nervous system is also likely as an aftereffect of mumps. In such a situation, more serious ailments such as meningitis, encephalitis or mellitus are likely to develop.
Infected saliva is the major means through which mumps gets transmitted from none person to another. The urine of the affected person also contains virus particles and is thereby infectious. The saliva of the infected individual gets infectious even a week prior to the onset of the symptoms such as swelling of the salivary glands.
However, the peak period of infection is a couple of days before the onset of the swelling. It is by examining the swelling of the salivary glands formed in both the cheeks that mumps get diagnosed. In case of an adult male whose testicles too has swollen, medical aid should be ensured. Cool compressors are found to helpful in providing first aid.
The preventive vaccine for mumps is given to children below one year along with the vaccines for measles and German measles. This vaccine is known as MMR. This vaccine is supposed to provide lifelong immunity. It is advisable to provide the child with this booster dose before he starts going to school.