What are mumps?
Didn't I get vaccinated as a child?
Why do I need to worry about it now?
Mumps is a contagious viral infection that can cause painful swelling of the parotid glands, which are salivary glands located between the ear and the jaw.
You might have been vaccinated as a child, but if you were born before 1957 and do not have a history of the mumps or TWO vaccinations, you may be at risk.
The mumps virus replicates in the upper respiratory tract and is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions or saliva or through fomites (substances that adhere and transmit infectious material).
The period that an infectious person can transmit to a non-infected person is from 3 days before symptoms appear to about 9 days after the symptoms appear.
The incubation time, which is the period from when a person is exposed to a virus to the onset of any symptoms, can vary from 16 to 18 days (range 12-25 days).
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite; followed by swelling of the salivary glands. The parotid salivary glands are most frequently affected.
Diagnosis should be made by your health care provider and laboratory testing may be required.
Currently there are no specific treatments for the mumps.
An outbreak on a college campus in eastern Iowa in December 2005 has caused a heightened concern. 38% of the cases have been young adults aged 18-24 years, the outbreak has spread through all age groups.
Start your summer off safe and make sure that you have all of the recommended vaccinations. Not only are you protecting yourself, but also those you around you.