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Mumps in children and adults – symptoms

Mumps is an acute systemic viral infection, transmitted, of which the most distinctive feature is the inflammation of one or both parotid glands. Involvement of other salivary glands, the meninges, pancreas and testes is also common.

mumps parotitis childrenThe incubation period of mumps generally ranges from 14 to 18 days, with extremes of 7 and 23 days. An attack of mumps usually confers lifelong immunity, and the children are immunized by the vaccine when young.

Causes and transmission of mumps

Mumps virus is transmitted through air drops, saliva and common household items. Virus replication in the upper respiratory tract epithelium leads to viremia, which is followed by glandular tissue infection and / or central nervous system (CNS).

Symptoms of mumps

At first mumps presents with fever, malaise, muscle pain and anorexia.

1. Parotitis, if it occurs, usually develops within the next 24 hours, but can be delayed for nearly a week; it is generally bilateral although debut on both sides can not match and sometimes only affects one side.

Submaxillary and sublingual glands are affected more rarely than parotid gland and almost never are alone involved. Parotid swelling is accompanied by awareness and delete the space between the earlobe and jaw angle.
The patient frequently complain of ear pain and has difficulty to eat, swallow or talk. Glandular inflammation is increasing for a couple of days and then is decreasing gradually until disappears within a week. Stensen duct orifice is usually red and inflamed.
2. Apart from the parotid, orchitis is the most common manifestation of mumps among men past puberty, occurring in about 20% of cases.

The testicles are painful and sensitive, and are increased several times compared to their normal length, associated fever is common. Later, testicular atrophy occurs in half of affected men. Since orchitis is bilateral in fewer than 15% of cases, sterility after mumps is rare.
Oophoritis at women – much less common than orchitis in men – may cause pain in the lower abdomen, but does not lead to sterility.

3. Aseptic meningitis is a common manifestation of mumps, both for children and adults.

Symptoms include neck stiffness, headache and drowsiness. Aseptic meningitis due to mumps unaccompanied by parotitis is clinically indistinguishable from that caused by other viruses. Deafness can sometimes occur as a complication.

4. More rarely, mumps virus can cause encephalitis, which presents with high fever and marked changes in level of consciousness and frequently results in permanent sequelae in survivors.

5. Mumps pancreatitis, which can manifest as abdominal pain.

Mumps and Pregnancy: An excessive number of miscarriages is associated with gestational mumps when the disease occurs in the first trimester. Mumps in pregnancy do not cause premature birth or fetal malformations.

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