WHAT IS IT?
Mumps is a very contagious disease that is caused by the paramyxovirus, a member of the Rubulavirus family. This disease can be spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. Mumps is no longer as common in the United States but outbreaks continue to occur. Mumps outbreaks have been found to spread among sick individuals with mumps who are in close contact with a lot of people, even if they are vaccinated.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- Muscles aches
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen and tender salivary glands under ears on one or both sides (parotitis)
Pregnant women, adults, babies, and people with weakened immune systems are at risk for serious complications. Series complications from this illness are encephalitis (swelling of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord) and deafness. Symptoms generally begin usually 16-18 days but can vary from 12-25 days from exposure. A person is contagious from 2 days before to 5 days after the onset of parotitis. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks. Some people with mumps may not always appear to have symptoms and atypical symptoms (cold-like symptoms including running nose, and/ or post nasal drip) may occur.
HOW CAN I PREVENT CONTRACTING THIS DISEASE?
Currently, there is a vaccine to prevent mumps – the Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine is most effective when a person receives the recommended two doses. The first dose is recommended to children 12 to 15 months and a second dose at 4 to 6 years. The vaccine is highly effective in preventing mumps and may lessen the severity of symptoms if a person is infected.
Since mumps is highly transmissible through direct contact, those diagnosed (clinically or lab-confirmed) with mumps should avoid contact with others and remain home from school or work for at least 5 days after the onset of parotitis (facial swelling) to avoid the risk of spreading the disease.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For more information about immunizations, visit:
For more information about travel health vaccines, visit:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html Accessed 6/2017
Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). http://dph.georgia.gov/mumps Accessed 6/2017