About Mumps

What is Mumps?

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by the mumps virus. Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of salivary glands/parotid glands.

How is Mumps transmitted?

The virus is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets (eg. sneeze) or by direct contact with items that have been contaminated with infected saliva, like sharing food, sharing drinks, and even kissing. The virus can also survive on surfaces and then be spread after contact in a similar manner.

Why should I take the Mumps vaccination?

Mumps may also infect the central nervous system (meningitis), pancreas (pancreatitis) and testes (orchitis in males may lead to infertility). As there is no specific treatment avaliable for Mumps, it is advisable to have the vaccination taken to prevent Mumps and complications that may come with it.

Points to Note:

Laboratory diagnostic tests are not perfect and are not 100% accurate

  • We do not have a test for every disease or virus but most of those pathogens that are of public health importance or have long term implications on your health can be tested
  • No one single test can be used with absolute certainty to diagnose a disease. Often, we depend on a combination of tests to make a diagnosis
  • Sometimes, we have to resort to trial treatment or empiric treatment if investigative tests are inconclusive. If the patient makes a therapeutic response and feels better, we have achieved our goal
  • In PUO, we are looking for treatable causes and to rule out sinister causes eg. malignancies so that we do not miss opportunities for early treatment or intervention

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