Common, early mumps symptoms are chills, headache, fever, and loss of appetite. The characteristic swelling of the salivary glands will occur 12-24 hours following these early symptoms.
Mumps infection is caused by a virus (Rubula inflans) spread through airborne water droplets from human to human, or through infected surfaces.
Infection typically occurs in children 5-15 years of age. Mumps infection symptoms typically appear 14-25 days following initial exposure and infection.
Mumps infection symptoms:
- loss of appetite
- general feeling of illness
- painful swelling of salivary glands
- painful swelling of testicles (in teen/adult men)
- stiff neck, coma (if brain covering infected)
- abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting (if pancreas infected)
The swelling of the salivary glands is commonly of the parotid gland, which is within the cheek, below the ears, near the jaw line.
Diagnosis is through physical examination of the obvious symptoms although blood testing can be used to confirm diagnosis.
There is no treatment for mumps. The condition is allowed to run its course with symptom and pain relief, and bed rest being the main effort.
Prevention can be aided with isolation and quarantine of infected individuals. Good hygiene will also prevent spread of the virus through direct contact or airborne particles.