Overview of Mumps
More than half the kids who attract mumps don’t know they have it as they don’t feel ill.
The rest might:
- Feel sick, have a headache, high fever and not want to eat.
- Have inflamed parotid glands after a few days. This can occur on both sides if the cheeks and face.
- Headaches that get worse after a few days.
- Want to be in a gloomy room away from the light.
- Feel bilious or even throw up.
Usually, the inflammation goes down after a week. In very exceptional cases mumps can lead to other difficulties. If males or boys who have gone through adolescence get mumps they could also get inflammation of one or both testes. There is a very slim chance that this could stop the male from producing sperm and having kids. Females who get mumps after adolescence might get the same infection in an ovary, but this doesn’t hinder them from being able to have kids.
How is Mumps Transmitted
- Somebody who has mumps is contagious from about 5 days before they start to feel ill until about 9 days after.
- When an infected individual starts sneezing or coughing, the drops of spit get transmitted. The infection shoots out too and can infect anybody in the area that it lands on.
- The drops can also land on exteriors so it’s important to have hygienic hands before you eat, or before putting your fingers near your mouth. That’s why mumps can be transmitted so quickly among young kids.
- Used tissues can also transmit viruses, so leaving them lying around is not a great idea. Flushing them down the toilet is a great way to get rid of germy tissues.
Mumps was always considered of as a childhood disease, but it can be more risky to get mumps when you are older, particularly if you have not been vaccinated against it. The best way to avoid mumps is to be vaccinated against it. If you were born in Australia then you have perhaps had the MMR inoculations, (Measles, Mumps and Rubella when you were still a baby and again before starting school)
The vaccination program has been around for a long time in Australia and that is why there are few individuals getting ill from these supposed ‘childhood’ diseases which used to cause many young kids to be really ill or even die.