Mumps is an acute viral illness that causes swelling of the salivary glands, usually the parotid glands. The disease shares similar features with measles and rubella as the causative agents of all three illnesses belong to the same family of viruses. Mumps is usually a benign, self-limiting disease, but in areas where there is no vaccination against it, it can cause severe complications. Immunization against mumps was first introduced in the United States in 1967.
The disease is caused by a virus called Rubulavirus, which belongs to the family of Paramyxoviridea. The natural host for the virus is humans, and it shares similar features with the human influenza virus. In non-immunized individuals, the virus can cause serious complications, some of which can be life-threatening.
Following are the routes of transmission for the virus:Droplet transmission- via coughing, sneezing, saliva, etc.Contact transmission- by touching infected individualsFomites- that is transmitted through infected objects such as utensils or clothes etc.
Risk factors for the infection include:
The incubation period for the virus is around 16 to 18 days, after which the first symptoms appear. These include:
Following investigations are often ordered to reach the diagnosis:
Differential diagnoses for mumps include:
The prognosis of mumps that does not lead to any complications is excellent. Common complications such as encephalitis and sensorineural deafness can be managed with proper care and hospitalization. Orchitis and oophoritis can rarely cause infertility in males and females, respectively. Infection during pregnancy can have dangerous outcomes for the fetus.
Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on April 28th, 2023.