Mumps InformationMarch 30, 2017
There are no cases of mumps here at Heartland, but there have been cases of the viral infection in the community recently. Below is information on mumps and steps you can take to avoid getting and spreading the virus. Just like any other illness, if you are feeling sick, stay home and away from others.
Mumps is a contagious viral infection of the salivary glands that is spread through saliva or mucus.
The virus can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing or kissing. Items used by an infected person such as drinking cups, eating utensils, toothbrushes and cigarettes, can also be contaminated with the virus and spread to others when those items are shared.
Make sure you are up-to-date on your MMR vaccine. If you are not sure if you received two doses of MMR vaccine, get vaccinated. Other things you can do to reduce the risk of being infected with the mumps virus include:
- Washing your hands well and often with soap and water
- Not sharing eating utensils and beverages with others
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Cleaning frequently touched surfaces with soap and water
- Avoiding close contact with individuals who are sick
- People at the highest risk for mumps are those who have not received any doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and those who have received only one dose of MMR. For every 100 people vaccinated against mumps, 80 or 90 of them will be fully protected and 10 to 20 will remain at risk for the disease.
Mumps typically starts with a fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. Some people will have swelling of their salivary glands, which is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.
Symptoms usually surface 16 to 18 days after infection, but individuals with mumps are actually the most contagious two days before becoming ill and for five days after.
Among males, mumps can lead to testicular inflammation that causes pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting and fever. Among some women with mumps, inflammation of the ovaries or breasts can occur. Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms should contact their doctor right away and limit their exposure to others.
If you experience symptoms, contact your primary health care provider or your county health department.
- There are currently no medications to treat the mumps virus, but the MMR vaccine prevents most cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. Treatment for mumps is focused on relieving symptoms until your body’s immune system fights off the infection.