General Illness Information

Medical Term: Parotitis, epidemic parotitis

Common Name: Mumps

Description: Epidemic parotitis (mumps) is a highly contagious anthropo infection. The causative agent of the mumps is the mumps virus, which is very common among the human population, belongs to the family of paramyxoviruses, paramyxovirus parotitis, has a kinship with the influenza virus.


The causative agent of the mumps relates to paramyxoviruses (family Paramyxoviridae, genus Paramyxovirus). The source of infection are people who are sick with manifest and inapparant forms of mumps. The sick person becomes a source of infection 1-2 days before the onset of symptoms and remains infectious during the first 5 days of the illness. The virus is transmitted by airborne droplets, but infection can transfer through contaminated objects.

Gateway for infection is the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract. The causative agent enters the salivary glands through the blood.

Susceptibility to infection is high, especially in boys and men. Children get sick more often. The highest incidence rate is observed in March-April, the lowest – in August-September. Periodic incidence of morbidity is observed in 1-2 years.

Signs & Symptom:

The symptoms of the disease in adults and children are identical. 11-23 is called an incubation period which starts from moment the virus enters the body and before the first signs of the disease appear. During this time a person does not feel sick, but already poses a danger to others as becomes contagious.

After the lapse of the latent period, the mumps passes into the acute phase and the first symptoms appear:

  • increase in body temperature up to 40 degrees – this occurs during the day and the temperature does not decrease during the week;
  • severe intoxication, which is accompanied by general malaise, headache, loss of appetite;
  • constant presence of dry mouth sensation;
  • increased salivation;
  • severe pain when opening the mouth, chewing and swallowing food;
  • pain in the ears, which becomes more intense during a conversation.

The most characteristic feature of the disease is the formation of specific swelling near the auricles. The cause of these swelling is inflammation of the parotid salivary gland – the virus of epidemic parotitis is most often localized there. Tumescence near the auricles reaches its maximum by the 7th day of the course of the disease, and then begins to gradually decrease. When touching the swollen area, the patient often feels pain, a patient can also feel aching pain in the muscles and joints (common for adults).


In typical cases, epidemic parotitis is easily recognized by typical symptoms. There is a difficulty in the differential diagnosis of complicated forms of the disease, especially if the lesion of the salivary glands is not expressed pronounced or absent.

The most effective laboratory methods of diagnosing mumps are:

  • the isolation of the virus from blood,
  • swallowing from the pharynx,
  • secretion of the parotid salivary gland,
  • cerebrospinal fluid and urine (immunofluorescence methods, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, RSK and RTGA).


There is no special drug for the treatment of mumps, doctors use complex therapeutic measures to eliminate specific symptoms.

General Measures:

To reduce body temperature, classic antipyretic agents and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. Antipyretic agents are not recommended – these drugs can cause severe irritation of the gastric mucosa and intestines, which will cause pain and worsen the general condition of the patient.

  • It is necessary to adjust the drinking regime – drink of at least 2 liters of fluid per day. And, it can be not only pure water, but also fruit drinks, fruit and berries compotes, tea with raspberries, infusion of viburnum with honey – such beverages not only contribute to the rapid elimination of toxins from the body, but also lower body temperature;
  • The patient should take multivitamin complexes and antihistamines, which will not only reduce the intensity of the symptoms of mumps, but also strengthen / support the body’s immune system. As a rule, doctors prescribe Biomax (multivitamins), Claritin and Suprastin (antiallergic);
  • In severe intoxication of the organism, intravenous detoxification therapy is performed – physiological saline and 5% glucose solution are administered. As a rule, such treatment is carried out in the hospital.

It is very important for adults to comply with bed rest for at least 10 days.


Another factor that will help to avoid complications from mumps is a correct diet. Patients with mumps should follow some rules:

  • Eat dairy and vegetable products daily;
  • do not overeat;
  • limit the use of pasta, fats and white bread;
  • refuse sharp, fried foods, marinades and pickles;
  • chop the food in puree – it will be easier for the patient to swallow it.

Possible Complications:

Complications are often manifested in glandular organs and central nervous system:

  • Meningitis;
  • Orchites;
  • Inflammation of the pancreas;
  • Hearing and deafness;
  • Inflammation of the joints;
  • Mumps virus in pregnant women can cause fetal damage.

Other complications are rare: prostatitis, oophoritis, thyroiditis, mastitis, bartonitis, myocarditis, nephritis, thrombocytopenic purpura.


Epidemic parotitis is a so-called controlled infection. Thanks to the preventive vaccination, the incidence of mumps can be significantly reduced. The vaccine is given to children over the age of 1, often in combination with rubella and measles vaccination. The vaccine is very effective, does not cause general or local reactions.

The use of the vaccine in a sick person will not be effective.

In order to avoid infection with epidemic mumps, it is necessary to avoid contact with a sick person.

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