Mumps is especially contagious two days before and four days after the first symptoms appear. However, the transition period is often even longer.
Nice to know: Everyone can become infected with mumps – even vaccinated people, although the course is then usually mild. After a mumps infection, a person usually has life-long protection against re-infection.
symptoms of mumps
The first symptoms of mumps are usually non-specific. These include, for example:
- loss of appetite
- Headache and body aches
A day or two after the onset of the first symptoms, some patients have swollen parotid glands – on either one or both sides. Swelling is noticeable in the jaw and cheek area. Sometimes there is pain in the ear and there is pain while chewing. The swelling usually subsides after a week, while the fever often subsides after a few days.
Sometimes the salivary glands and neighboring lymph nodes also swell.
Many childhood diseases go away with the rash. These include measles and rubella. In contrast, there is usually no rash with mumps.
complications of mumps
Adolescents and adults who contract mumps have more complications than children. This includes, for example, meningitis, which often manifests as a stiff neck, severe headache, and vomiting. Rarely, encephalitis may occur.
Another possible complication is testicular swelling: it occurs in up to one-third of adolescent males with mumps. It can be recognized by painful swelling of one testicle or both testicles, which in rare cases leads to infertility. In women, there is swelling in the mammary glands or ovaries.
In connection with the mumps infection, inflammation of the inner ear or inflammation of the auditory nerve may also occur. Long-term damage such as deafness rarely occurs afterwards. Some infected people (usually young people) develop inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) as a result of mumps infection, which can cause severe abdominal pain.
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