Mumps is a disease often associated with childhood illnesses such as chicken pox and measles. Besides being viral and having uncomfortable, painful and unsightly symptoms, all these diseases are also completely preventable through vaccines. A few immunisation doses can ensure a lifetime’s immunity against getting these dreadful illnesses.
Is Mumps really that serious?
While many may not see mumps as a serious illness, its complications can be severe. The disease affects the parotid glands (the large salivary glands in front of your ears) as well as other organs of the body. Moreover, the virus doesn’t just attack children but adults get infected too. Symptoms include cheek and jaw swelling, fever and joint pain, at best throwing your schedule for a toss for at least 10 days in uncomplicated cases. Besides the salivary glands, the disease can adversely affect the testicles, ovaries and pancreas as well.
Major complications that can arise
Here are some of the more serious complications that the disease can cause.
● Orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) in boys, resulting in swelling and tenderness. This usually occurs in teenagers and adult men.
● Reproductive issues in women.
● Meningitis occurs in about one out of 10 children who suffer from mumps This is when the covering of the brain and spinal cord gets inflamed.
● Encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain.
● Sensorineural deafness (caused by infection in the inner ear) is often a complication because of Mumps. Sensorineural deafness is permanent.
● Mumps is also said to be linked to developing diabetes mellitus.
Who is most susceptible to Mumps?
If you haven’t taken the vaccine, whether you are a child or adult, you are at risk of contracting the virus and getting the disease. Usually, children between the ages of 5 and 15 are more prone to infection than younger children.
Mumps is an airborne disease, which means that the virus can be transmitted from an infected person to another via coughing sneezing or through the air. So, if you haven’t been immunized, close contact with a person infected with mumps puts you at risk of getting it yourself.
How can I avoid Mumps?
There’s no cure or treatment for the disease. Once you get it you will have to ride out the uncomfortable symptoms and treat any complications that may arise. However, you can prevent getting Mumps completely by getting vaccinated. The vaccine MMP (Tresivac) can protect you and your family against mumps.
When should the vaccine be taken?
For children, this vaccine can be given as early as 12 to 15 months of age, up to the age of 13 years. The vaccine generally has no side effects. A small number of children may experience a mild fever or Parotitis, resulting in a slight swelling of one or both the major parotid (salivary) glands.
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