What is Mumps?
Mumps is defined as a virus that can be passed from one individual to another by means of their saliva, personal contact, and secretions from the body. It is known to affect the salivary glands, which are located below and behind the ears.
What Are the Symptoms of Mumps?
After you have been exposed to mumps, you will experience symptoms within the next two weeks. Generally they are very flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, headache, body aches, fever, and loss of appetite. Sometimes the fever may start very low but then begin to rise to a high fever. Glands may swell over a period of time and feel painful to the touch. You are considered to be the most contagious with the illness from the time of exposure to the time that your glands begin to swell. Although most people who get mumps are able to experience the symptoms listed here, it is estimated that only 40 percent of individuals have swollen glands from the illness.
How is Mumps Treated?
Since mumps is defined as a virus, it is not able to be treated with medications such as antibiotics. It is an illness that has to be allowed to run its course and disappear. Individuals can use over-the-counter medications to help ease some of the symptoms that are associated with the illness. It is recommended that people should take pain relievers to help lower any possible fever. Resting and sleep is an ideal way to provide the body with an opportunity to fight against the illness. Drinking fluids and only eating foods that will be comfortable with swollen glands is another way to avoid any possible further discomfort. Those who are dealing with swollen glands can use an ice pack to help reduce some of the swelling and minimize the pain associated with the symptom.
Most people who have mumps can return to school or work after a week of their diagnosis. It is expected that the illness will have run its course in terms of being contagious; at that point, the individual is just using over-the-counter products to help them cope with any further symptoms. After ten days, the individual should feel better. However, if there is no sign of recovery or improvement, it is recommended to visit a doctor for another diagnosis.
Can Mumps Be Prevented?
Generally speaking, mumps can be prevented if the individual is immunized during their childhood. There are two immunizations that parents are encouraged to provide their children with to ensure that mumps will not be contracted.