What is Mumps (Epidemic parotitis)

Mumps is an acute, contagious, viral disease that causes painful enlargement of the salivary or parotid glands.

Statistics on Mumps (Epidemic parotitis)

Unvaccinated children between the ages of 2 and 12 are most commonly infected, but the infection can occur in other age groups.

Risk Factors for Mumps (Epidemic parotitis)

The mumps are caused by a virus which is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets or direct contact with articles that have been contaminated with infected saliva. Avoiding this contact would subsequently greatly reduce the chance for the infection to take hold.

Progression of Mumps (Epidemic parotitis)

Mumps is spread by droplet infection, direct contact or through fomites.

The disease is infective for 2-3 days before the onset of the parotitis and for 3 days after onset. There is an 18 day incubation period.

How is Mumps (Epidemic parotitis) Diagnosed?

Mumps is usually diagnosed on the basis of clinical features.

Mumps would also cause a 4-fold rise in antibodies detected by complement fixation or indirect haemagglutination or neutralisation tests on acute and convalescent sera.

Prognosis of Mumps (Epidemic parotitis)

The probable outcome is good, even if other organs are involved. After the illness, life-long immunity to mumps occurs.

How is Mumps (Epidemic parotitis) Treated?

  • Treatment is supportive.
  • Adequate nutrition and mouth care should be monitored. Analgesics may be used to relieve pain.
  • Mumps can be prevented by immunisation with the MMR vaccine. However, vaccination is not recommended in immunosuppressed individuals, during pregnancy or those with severe febrile illnesses.

More information

Doctor giving a child an intramuscular injection in arm, shallow DOF For more information on the vaccines available to protect against Measles, Mumps and Rubella, as well as the administration, side effects and components of each vaccine, see Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine.

Mumps (Epidemic parotitis) References

  1. Kumar P, Clark M. Clinical Medicine. Fourth Ed. WB Saunders, 2002.
  2. MEDLINE Plus.