Symptoms, treatment, prevention of mumps

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Two students are officially diagnosed with the mumps. The mumps is a viral infection, making it very easy to spread person-to-person, according to an Aug. 12, 2015, article by Mayo Clinic titled “Mumps.” There are many ways to ensure health in case mumps becomes more common on campus.

What are mumps?

The Medical News Today article “Mumps: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment” by Mike Paddock, described the mumps as being an infectious virus that causes swelling in the parotid glands, which are the salivary glands located in front of the ears. This causes swelling in the face sometimes as well.

Common complications that can occur when one has the mumps are orchitis, which is the swelling of the testicles, oophoritis, which is the swelling of the ovaries, inflamed pancreas and, in some rarer cases, deafness and viral meningitis, according to Paddock’s article.

In more extreme cases, mumps can cause brain inflammation, which could be potentially fatal. It is significantly less likely than many of the other complications, as it only happens in 1 in 6,000 cases, according to Paddock’s article.

Symptoms

Mumps can cause a variety of symptoms, including headache, nausea, dryness of the mouth, painful joints, fever, pain in the sides of the face where it is swollen and many others, according to Paddock. These can appear up to two or three weeks after a person has come in contact with the mumps virus.

If inflammation of the pancreas occurs, there can also be pain in the upper abdomen.

Transmission

Like many viral infections, the mumps can be spread through contact with infected saliva, according to Mayo Clinic. This means when someone sneezes, coughs or shares eating utensils and cups, it is possible for the virus to be transmitted.

Paddock said in his article that frequent hand-washing and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Many countries generally vaccinate young children for the mumps, according to Paddock. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said after the licensing of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in 1967, mumps decreased in the U.S. by 99 percent before 2005.

Treatment

Paddock’s article said because the mumps is a viral infection, antibiotics do not help in the treatment. Those who get the mumps will simply be treated for their symptoms. Then, the virus just has to run its course. According to the article, most recover from the mumps in approximately two weeks. Also, getting sufficient sleep and drinking fluids are recommended.

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Kelsey Kendall
Hi everyone! I'm a junior in journalism and cultural anthropology. I'm pretty excited to be the Collegian feature editor this semester. I hope to someday take the skills I learn here to a major newspaper reporting on international issues.