BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The University of Kentucky has recently reported that the health authorities identified 3 more cases of mumps among students. According to the CDC, the mumps is spreading like wildfire in the US, with 69 confirmed cases so far.
Mostly viewed as a childhood disease, mumps can have some nasty effects once you grow older. And even as a child, it can put your life at risk. The mumps, also called epidemic parotitis (the inflammation of the salivary glands) is mainly caused by the mumps virus.
The most common symptoms associated with this disease are fever, headache and muscle pain. However, some of the patients reported fatigue after contracting the mumps virus. These symptoms usually resurface within an interval of 16 to 18 days, although, it some cases it may take longer (12 to 25 days).
According to the medical literature, most of the symptoms associated with epidemic parotitis are mild, but, in some instances, the patients can suffer from complications. The CDC notes that the most common complication associated with the mumps are meningitis or inflammation of the brain. Approximately 15 percent of the patients diagnosed with the mumps can suffer from this complication.
The virus can also induce pancreatitis in approximately 4 percent of the patients. Perhaps the most severe complication that can occur is permanent deafness. Moreover, it is also a known fact that older patients treated for the mumps can become infertile.
Other complications associated with this childhood disease are swelling of the testicles or of the ovaries and swelling of the breasts.
How is the disease transmitted? According to the CDC, everyone infected with the mumps virus is a carrier, regardless of how severe the case is. Usually, epidemic parotitis is transmitted by droplets of saliva or mucus from an infected person. Anyone who is infected can infect other in return through sneezes, coughs or talking. Sharing personal objects like toothbrushes, towel or cups can also help the virus to spread.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease, only supportive care. In case someone comes down with mumps, doctors recommend lots of bed rest, fluids and if necessary, to apply either ice or heat to the neck or to the groin. If the pain becomes acute, the patient can take pain relief medicine like acetaminophen.
Moreover, the doctors have noted that gargles with water and soft food may ease the symptoms. As precautionary methods, the physicians urge their patients not to take aspirin for mumps. In some children, taking aspirin has caused another disease called Reye’s syndrome.
The mumps is spreading like wildfire in the US, and the CDC recommends that all who have been exposed should go to the nearest clinic in order to receive two doses of the MMR vaccine.