1. What is mumps?
Mumps is a disease caused by a virus that basically affects the salivary glands. The mumps virus causes a contagious disease which is normally spread through saliva. It is often associated with some pain on swallowing and fever which causes loss of appetite. Most of the symptoms are treatable with simple pain killers, fluids and bed rest. When taking oral fluids, they should be warm which generally makes it easier to swallow but sometimes the symptoms are severe enough to make practical to institute intravenous fluid therapy.
2. Causes of mumps
The spread of mumps through saliva includes shared plates, glasses and cups. It is also spread through coughing, kissing and sneezing. This is why it is spread easily across children to adults. This proves that no age group is immune except those who have had prior immunization. It is therefore very important to ensure that anyone in contact with a mumps patient should be up to date with their vaccines. It is common to recommend two doses for children at 12 to 15 months of age and again at between four and six years to life.
3. The suffering of victims
Mumps patients are contagious mostly a day or two before they become ill. The normal routine is to seek their isolation from other members of the family once they fall ill and keep to them away from others for at least five consecutive days after the appearance of symptoms.
Mothers on the other hand can be relied, upon to make fairly accurate diagnosis of the condition from sheer experience.That does not mean that they or the doctors are always correct with their making of required diagnosis. The only investigation that can guarantee, almost near 100 percent accuracy of the presence of mumps in an individual, is a fancifully named test called the RT-PCR test. This test is conducted for respiratory specimens to identify and confirm conditions similar to influenza.
Image courtesy of: seasonsmedical.com.