Mumps is a viral infection that primarily affects the parotid glands (salivary glands) and is typically recognized by swelling near the jaw.
How is it transmitted?
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by
- coughing, sneezing, or talking
- sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and
- touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others
What are the signs and symptoms?
Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease. Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.
Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. This is a result of swollen salivary glands.
The most common symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis)
Is there a treatment for mumps?
Currently, there is no treatment for mumps other than supportive care through relief of symptoms (e.g. bed rest, fluids and fever reduction).
What is the best prevention against the mumps?
The most effective way to protect oneself against mumps is to get two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine is available at Student Health Services. You can call 215-204-7500 to schedule an appointment.
Additionally, it is also helpful to follow general prevention tips, like covering your cough and your sneeze and washing your hands frequently.