Understanding Mumps- Prevention and Cure

In the instance that you might feel the bottom of your jaw is painful and you notice that it is growing in size, you may be experiencing mumps; a contagious disease that was mostly prevalent in children before the MMR vaccine was produced. Nowadays, young children, teenagers, and adults are likely to get mumps if they have not yet been vaccinated.

People who have mumps will experience extreme discomfort, especially when they are using their mouth to chew or swallow food. An infected person has no other option but to resign to a largely liquid diet or to carefully consume soft food since mumps prevent the usage of facial muscles in excess. The only people who should be in contact with a person who has mumps is another one who already contracted and recovered from it or who has had the mumps vaccine. 

Why Do Mumps Occur?
Mumps are caused by the mumps virus, which originated from a family of viruses called paramyxoviruses. This group of viruses is a common source of infection with children being increasingly susceptible. It is for this reason the MMR and Mumps Vaccination is offered to children as a preventative measure, since childhood is the most likely time to contract the illness.

The virus spreads from your respiratory tract and into your saliva-producing glands, where it will start to reproduce, making your glands swell. The virus can pass through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is what protects and surrounds your spine and brain. If it enters the CSF, the virus will spread to several other body parts including the pancreas, brain, ovaries for girls, and testicles for boys. 

How Mumps Are Spread
One thing you need to know about mumps is that it is airborne, transmitted by coughing or sneezing directly on a person. The germs can also carry if there are others inside the room, so transmission does not need to occur through direct contact. Even tiny saliva particles can be enough to infect others when they are inhaled or pass through the mouth. 

Besides airborne transmission, the virus can also be transmitted when an infected person touches their mouth and then spreads the germs by touch to another object. In this instance, contraction occurs indirectly with the object being the infectious conduit. It is possible with this indirect method of contraction that infection can be avoided, by keeping your hands away from your face and washing them as quickly as possible after exposure.

There is no Mumps Cure, but the good news is that the infection should only last for one or two weeks. To avoid lingering discomfort and potential complications, it’s best to vaccinate yourself and your family against the mumps virus.