Mumps

Alternative Names

Epidemic parotitis

Definition of Mumps

Mumps is a contagious disease that leads to painful swelling of the salivary glands. The salivary glands produce saliva, a liquid that moistens food and helps you chew and swallow.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The mumps are caused by a virus. The virus is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets (for example, when you sneeze) or by direct contact with items that have been contaminated with infected saliva.

Signs and tests

A physical examination confirms the presence of the . No testing is usually required.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for mumps. Ice or heat packs applied to the neck area and acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help relieve pain. Do not give aspirin to children with a viral illness because of the risk of .

Expectations (prognosis)

Patients usually do well, even if other organs are involved. After the illness, the patient has a life-long to the mumps.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/13/2010

Head and neck glands

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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