With news of outbreaks, learn how you can protect yourself against mumps.
Since Feb. 11, 2014, 63 cases of mumps have been reported in Franklin County, Ohio, a county that is also home to Ohio State University. Since then, the mumps outbreak has spread beyond the college campus and into the community. Many community members are checking for symptoms of mumps, reading about how to treat mumps and learning how to protect themselves against the contagious disease. See what you should know about it as well.
What is Mumps?
The origin of the word "mump" is described as a grimace or miserable expression. With swollen glands and a swollen face that's exactly what patients look like. Mumps is highly contagious and spreads through the respiratory droplets found in a cough or sneeze.
The disease generally strikes children even though modern day vaccinations work to prevent it. A major complication of the disease is the way it runs the risk of sterility both in men and women. Luckily, once someone has contracted the disease it is highly unlikely a case of mumps will strike them again.
Signs and Symptoms of Mumps
The symptoms of mumps generally occur two to three weeks after a patient contracts the disease. The main symptom of mumps is a very painful and highly swollen salivary gland that appears through a puffed up face and sensitivity to touch.
Other Noticeable Symptoms
- Weakness or stiffness in joints
- High temperature
- Dryness in mouth
- Reduced appetite
How is Mumps Treated?
Since mumps is viral, it cannot be treated through the use of antibiotics. Instead, the only treatment administered is used to reduce the pain an intensity of symptoms. Often times, hospitals or doctors will recommend an anti-inflammatory that is used to reduce swelling.
Protecting Yourself Against Mumps
The first step in protecting yourself against mumps is getting the vaccine from your local health practitioner. Additionally, if there is a mumps outbreak in your area, avoid crowded places and wash your hands frequently. Get plenty of rest and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to increase your immunity.