Mumps is a highly contagious infection that generally affects children. This is also known as “Epidemic Parotitis”. The instigating virus is called “Mumps Virus”. It has an incubation period of 14-18 days since infection to onset of symptoms. The initial symptoms of mumps include mild fever, malaise, head-ache, loss of appetite. However, the main visible symptom for this condition is the swelling of the “Parotid Gland” also known as the “saliva gland”. There are three salivary glands located on each side of the face and the ears.
There are other severe complications which include infections in the covering of the brain, pancreatitis, permanent deafness and painful testicle swelling which uncommonly results in infertility. Women can also develop ovarian swelling.
Mumps is also highly contagious disease and spread very rapidly from the infected person to a healthy one. People who live with the infected person have to be extra cautious about being in close proximity with them. This infection gets transmitted only from humans to humans.
An infected person after getting cured is immune for life. Although, in rare cases the symptoms may come back but are mild.
The common symptoms of mumps include low grade fever, malaise, headache, loss of appetite. This is then followed by the swelling of the Parotid Gland. This usually lasts for about one week. Some people also complain about dry mouth, sore face/ears and difficulty in talking.
There are other complications which arise due to this disease.
This develops in about 10-40% of cases usually in men who get this disease after reaching puberty. This inflammation is generally one-sided (only one testicle swollen, though two-sided cases do exist but are not that common). Although, inflammation does not mean that there is a decrease in infertility. There is no effect of masculine virility whatsoever or is extremely rare.
It accounts for 10% of the total cases of mumps. However, when parotid swelling happens, the propensity for meningitis to occur increases to about 40%.
This takes place or occurs in about 5% of adolescent as well as adult females.
4. Cerebral Inflammation
This is a rare condition and is only found in about 1% of all cases. Its extremely fatal and can lead to death.
5. Pancreatic Inflammation
This happens in 4% cases and manifests as acute abdominal pain and vomiting.
Causes Of Mumps
Mumps are caused by the “mumps virus”, which belongs to the family of viruses known as “paramyxoviruses”. They are the most common instigator of infections particularly in children.
Mumps is an airborne virus which can be spread by an infected person sneezing or coughing. This releases tiny droplets of saliva in the air which can then be breathed by other people. Otherways include an infected person touching their mouth or nose and then transferring the bacteria onto another object which can then be touched by another physically fit person. Also sharing of utensils with infected persons can very easily transfer the virus.
The mumps virus generally enters the body through the respiratory tract openings (nose, mouth, throat) and attacks the parotid glands where it starts to multiply. This causes the glands to swell. This virus can also enter into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which is basically the fluid surrounding the brain to act as a cushion against external forces. The virus can affect the other parts of the body as well like pancreas and testicles or ovaries.
A physical examination confirms the presence of the swollen glands. Usually, the disease is diagnosed on the spot and no extra laboratory testing is needed. If there is uncertainty about the diagnosis, a test saliva or blood may be carried out. A newer diagnostic confirmation, using real-time “nested polymerase chain reaction” (PCR) technology, has also been developed. As with aby inflammation of the salivary glands, the serum level of the enzyme amylase often gets elevated.
There is currently no treatment available for mumps and since its caused by a virus, anti-biotics don’t work against them either. Medication can only relieve the stress caused by the symptoms until the disease runs its course. Thankfully, this is not a fatal disease hence it poses no threat to human life.
Steps that can be taken to help relieve the symptoms of mumps include:
Consuming plenty of fluids, ideally water – avoid fruit juices as they stimulate the production of saliva, which is painful for someone with mumps.
Putting something cold on the swollen area to alleviate the pain.
Eating mushy or liquid food as chewing will also be painful
Getting sufficient rest and sleep
Gargling warm salt water
Taking painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
The most common prevention against this virus is the “Mumps vaccine” which was invented by the American microbiologist Maurce Hilleman at Merck. Its also called MMR vaccine. MMR also defends the body against “Rubella” and “Measels”.
MMR vaccines are administered to infants when they are 1 year old and once more given as a booster pack when they are about to enter schools.
People who are working in healthcare industry are highly advised to get vaccinated. Teenagers should also get vaccinated since they are more prone to it.
Before the introduction of the mumps vaccine, the mumps virus was the leading cause of viral meningoencephalitis in the United States. However, encephalitis occurs rarely (less than 2 per 100,000). In one of the largest studies in the literature, the most common symptoms of mumps meningoencephalitis were found to be fever (97%), vomiting (94%) and headache (88.8%). The mumps vaccine was introduced into the United States in December 1967: since its introduction there has been a steady decrease in the incidence of mumps and mumps virus infection. There were 151,209 cases of mumps reported in 1968. From 2001 to 2008, the case average was only 265 per year, excluding an outbreak of >6000 cases in 2006 attributed largely to university contagion in young adults.
Natural Home Remedies For Mumps
Thankfully there are many home remedies for mumps which are totally natural without any side-effects. Hence they are the most suitable to be used without the fear of any complication.
This is a wonderful home remedy for mumps. The asparagus seeds should be crushed into a paste and then applied on to the infected area. if mixed with fenugreek seeds, this works even better.
This is also works wonders against mumps. Black pepper should be crushed and mixed with water to make a paste and then applied onto the affected area. It is one of the best effective home remedies for mumps.
They are much more commonly known as “Ink Fruit”. They are also excellent for fighting against mumps. Apply a thick paste of Ink fruit by mixing it with water on the affected area for relief from pain.
Peepal Leaves/Fig Leaves
Peepal leaves are not only sacred in India, they have excellent medicinal properties as well. Smear the leaves with oil or ghee and then heat them over low simmer fire. This should then be applied on the affected part.
This plant makes excellent cure for a lot of problems since it has anti-biotic properties. It also makes it good against inflammation and pain. Peel the bulbous leaf and put some turmeric on the peeled side. Keep this side wrapped around the affected area. It is one of the best home remedies for mumps.
Having mumps is embarrassing, but you can easily cure your problems with these effective home remedies for mumps. Use these home remedies for mumps to treat and heal mumps almost immediately.