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Viral and usually benign, mumps can affect both young and old, when they are not immunized or they are not vaccinated.
Mumps, what is it?
- Mumps disease is an infection caused by a virus called mumps virus. It is very contagious and affects children but also any adult who has never contracted in childhood and is not vaccinated.
What are the symptoms ?
- The first signs of the disease appear at the end of an incubation period which lasts between 2 and 3 weeks:
- Headaches and moderate fever can occur, but parotitis (inflammation of the salivary glands) is the most common symptom of mumps. Swelling appears behind the jaw and deforms the face, as if the patient had hamster cheeks. Degluttering or chewing becomes painful.
How is the mumps virus spread?
- Transmission occurs through interhuman contact from one person to another, by air and through saliva droplets during episodes of coughing, sneezing, postilion or by close contact with an infected person.
- As in all viral episodes, to limit the spread, it is recommended to ask children to put their hand in their mouths when they sneeze or cough, and to ensure that they do not exchange their glasses, their bottles or their teats.
- The contagion period starts between 3 and 6 days before the appearance of the first clinical signs and lasts until about ten days later.