Mumps is a contagious viral infection that typically
causes a painful swelling of one or more of the salivary glands. It is also
known as epidemic parotitis.
salivary glands are located on either side of the face, below the ears. This infection gives an appearance rather
like a ‘hamster with food in its cheeks’.
most commonly occurs in children aged 2-12 years who have not been vaccinated
against the disease. However, it can occur at any age. It was a common childhood disease before the development of the mumps
vaccine (MMR vaccine).
Mumps is spread by droplet infection. This is less communicable than measles or
chickenpox. One attack usually confers permanent immunity, even though only one
salivary gland has been enlarged. About 25 to 30% of cases are clinically in
and tenderness of the parotid gland are the classical signs of mumps, and
diagnosis is made on this basis. Laboratory tests are rarely required.
complications of mumps are rare and include meningitis, encephalitis, deafness
is no specific treatment for mumps. Treatment aims at relieving the pain and
discomfort caused by the swelling.