Mumps is a viral infection that was once very prevalent in the western world but is now much less common due to the mumps MMR vaccination that is available worldwide. Mumps is an airborne disease that is commonly spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Whilst adults can contract mumps, children, historically, were the ones who fell ill the most often. In addition to mumps, the MMR vaccination also treats rubella in adults and children.
What is Mumps?
Mumps is a viral infection that affects the salivary glands near your ears which is what causes the tell-tale facial swelling. However, not everyone with mumps will have symptoms. For those who do have noticeable symptoms, it usually takes 2-3 weeks for them to appear after exposure.
Symptoms can include:
- Facial swelling
- Pain when eating or drinking
- Pain on one or both sides of the face
- Muscle aches or weakness
- Malaise and fatigue
More serious but rare complications of mumps are hearing loss, testicular swelling, encephalitis, pancreatitis, and miscarriage.
Mumps vaccine side effects
The MMR vaccine is very safe. Most side effects are mild and do not last long. Common side effects include:
- Sore arm from the shot.
- Mild rash.
- Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women who did not already have immunity to the rubella component of the vaccine.
How long after the mumps vaccine are you immune?
For the mumps vaccine to work, the body needs time to produce protective antibodies in response to the vaccine. Detectable antibodies generally appear within just a few days after vaccination. People are usually fully protected after about 2 or 3 weeks.
Mumps vaccine for adults
It is recommended for adults to get the Mumps vaccine for adults if they didn’t get it as a child. In general, everyone ages 18 and older born after 1956 who has not had mumps needs at least 1 dose of the mumps vaccine.
Thankfully, ever since the mumps vaccine was developed, rates of infection have dramatically decreased. The MMR vaccine is a vital vaccination for all children and for adults who have not been vaccinated. Miles Pharmacy’s Health Clinic can provide you and your family with the life-saving Mumps Vaccination in Ashtead. Miles Pharmacy can also give you advice and other vaccines to keep you and your family happy and healthy.