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Mumps Virus: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

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Mumps Virus: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Internal Medicine | Posted on 05/31/2024 by RBH


Mumps is an extremely transmissible viral infection and has been a worry due to its possible complications. In earlier times, around the 1960’s, outbreaks were common, affecting millions every year before the mumps vaccine was introduced in 1967. Extensive vaccination programs have substantially minimized its prevalence. Today, mumps cases are not very common in several parts of the world, even though it is still present. In India, hospitals throughout the nation are experiencing a sudden spike in mumps cases. 

As per a report, during the last few months, every day hospitals are registering more than five to six cases. Currently, the number has reached 15,000 cases in major cities like Delhi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra. The government has issued an advisory to prevent the virus such as washing hands frequently, staying indoors, not sharing food with an infected person, and getting vaccinated on time. 

It is important to understand the relevance of continued vaccination efforts and awareness. Understanding the history, symptoms, and prevention ways to eliminate the chances of contracting mumps remains vital to control this contagious disease. 

If you suddenly experience swollen glands or fever, book your appointment with one of the best internal medicine doctors in Jaipur at CK Birla Hospitals for immediate mumps treatment. Their experience and skills will assist you in proper diagnosis and treatment solutions that are suitable for you. 

Additionally, here in this blog, we will talk about this transmissible disease in detail so that risk can be mitigated beforehand. However, please note that this blog is for informative purposes only and doesn’t replace the significance of a doctor’s consultation. 

What are mumps?

Mumps is a viral contagion mainly that affects the salivary glands, causing distressing swelling around the jawline and neck. It transmits through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes, as well as close contact with people who are infected. Common signs are fever, headache, muscle aches, etc. However, these signs usually resolve on their own within some days or weeks. But, complications like meningitisencephalitis, or deafness can happen, specifically in adults. Vaccination usually is governed as a segment of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and is known to be immensely efficient in averting mumps and its complications, contributing to its management and reduction in frequency.

What are mumps symptoms?

The initial signs of mumps are usually mild. Most people don’t experience symptoms and are unaware of the infection. This is because symptoms don’t appear instantly. The time between infection and disease ranges from around a week to twenty-five days. Here are some of the common symptoms of mumps one should be mindful of: 

  • Appetite loss 
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever 
  • Headache 

Painful swelling of parotid glands happens a few days after coming in contact with the mumps infection. It is a standard sign that appears like chipmunk cheeks. Cheeks tend to puff up and the patient experiences swelling in their jaw. In more than 70% of cases, parotitis occurs.

In very rare cases, this infection affects organs like the ovaries, pancreas, brain, or testicles. This mainly happens in adolescents and adults and it is vital to consult the doctor immediately if the following signs are observed:

  • Seizures
  • Stiff neck 
  • Severe headache 
  • Vomiting 
  • Stomach issues 
  • Confusion

What are mumps causes?

Mumps is mainly caused by the mumps virus belonging to the family of Paramyxoviridae. This viral infection is transmissible through the droplets when an infected individual is coughing, sneezing, or sharing eatable items. If a non-infected person comes in direct contact with saliva or mucus from an infected person, then it can also spread the virus easily. Immediate proximity in crowded settings leads to its transmission in schools, dormitories, or workplaces. Once the virus makes its entry into the body through the respiratory tract, it strikes and imitates in the salivary glands, causing inflammation and swelling. It is important to seek immediate consultation for mumps treatment if symptoms are worsening. 

How are mumps diagnosed?

Mumps is often diagnosed depending on medical symptoms, like swollen and sensitive salivary glands, with a history of exposure to the virus. Laboratory tests help in confirming the diagnosis by detecting mumps-specific antibodies in blood or saliva samples. In addition, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are involved to identify viral genetic material in saliva, urine, or cerebrospinal fluid. Imaging studies such as ultrasound and MRI are also included to evaluate complications like inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or swelling of the testicles (orchitis). Diagnosis is an important step for the management and to prevent spreading of the virus in the future.

What are the options available for mumps treatment?

There is no particular treatment available for mumps. However, certain options are there for mumps treatment that significantly emphasizes relieving symptoms and averting complications, as the infection usually resolves on its own within a few days or weeks. Here are these options:

  • Proper rest and staying hydrated support the body's immune response and reduce fever.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen assist in reducing fever and mitigating the feeling of discomfort.
  • Apply warm compresses to the glands if they are swollen as it benefits in relieving pain and promoting drainage.
  • Making sure to avoid sour or acidic foods and drinks intensifies salivary gland pain, so restricting them helps in providing temporary relief.
  • Mumps are extremely infectious, so patients must isolate themselves to prevent spreading the virus to others. Ensuring the practice of good hygiene such as regular hand washing also benefits in stopping transmission.


In conclusion, mumps are among the most common viral infections causing substantial discomfort and possible complications. Understanding its symptoms like swollen salivary glands, fever, and fatigue is vital for immediate diagnosis and suitable management of the condition. Although treatment mainly emphasizes symptom relief through rest, hydration, and pain medication, avoidance through vaccination remains important. Vaccination not only offers protection from mumps but also assists in preventing its spread within groups. Recognizing the symptoms, finding timely clinical care, and prioritizing vaccination help in mitigating the impact of mumps altogether, ensuring improved health outcomes for patients and eliminating the risk of outbursts.

Frequently Asked Question-


How long will mumps last?

Mumps usually last for not more than a few days or weeks. After some time, they resolve on their own without needing the treatment. 

How is mumps transmitted?

Mumps are transmitted by coming into contact with an infectious individual, droplets of cough, and sneezing. 

What causes mumps in adults?

Mumps in adults occurs due to the mumps virus transferred through respiratory droplets or coming into direct contact with saliva or mucus from an infected individual, especially in crowded settings.

Are mumps deadly?

While mumps usually resolves on their own without any difficulty, they can cause serious complications such as meningitis, encephalitis, or orchitis, in rare cases and that can be dangerous.

Is mumps a communicable disease?

Yes, mumps is a communicable disease that spreads through the respiratory droplets of an infected person. 

Can mumps cause infertility?

Mumps cause orchitis, and testicle inflammation, possibly causing infertility in males. Not all mumps cases lead to orchitis, vaccination assists in averting complications, focusing on the significance of immunization.

What to eat when you have mumps?

Doctors recommend drinking plenty of fluids, soft foods, etc. and it is recommended to prevent the infected person from drinking acidic fruit juices such as grapefruit juice, and orange juice as it worsens the condition.

Are mumps viral or bacterial?

Mumps are a viral infection, caused by the virus known as paramyxovirus. It's extremely infectious and transmits through respiratory droplets.