Mumps Outbreak In Kerala: Know Symptoms, Cure And How To Prevent

There seems to be a mumps outbreak in Kerala with the southern state having reported 190 cases in a single day on March 10, a report in the Indian Express mentioned. The same report mentions that Union Health Ministry officials have confirmed the outbreak and said that the National Centre for Disease Control in the state has been alerted. As the state battles mumps, Dr Anish Gupta, Lead ENT Consultant, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, shares details about the viral infection caused by the paramyxovirus. 

What Is Mumps?

“Mumps, a contagious viral infection, primarily affects the salivary glands, leading to painful swelling, especially around the cheeks and jaw. While most cases are mild, complications can occur, making it crucial to understand its symptoms, prevention measures, and available treatments,” says Dr Anish Gupta.

Symptoms Of Mumps

Dr Gupta lists the following mumps symptoms:

– Swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands, particularly the parotid glands located below the ears.

– Fever, headache, muscle aches, and loss of appetite.

– Difficulty swallowing or chewing due to swollen glands.

– Fatigue and weakness.

Also Read: How Poor Sleep Impacts Health And 7 Proven Tips To Sleep Better

How To Prevent Mumps

Dr Gupta recommends the following key steps to prevent mumps:

Vaccination: The most effective way to prevent mumps is through vaccination. The MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is typically administered to children in two doses, with the first dose at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years. Adults who haven’t been vaccinated or aren’t sure about their vaccination status can also benefit from the vaccine.

Hygiene Practices: Since mumps spreads through respiratory droplets or saliva, practising good hygiene is essential. This includes covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, washing hands frequently with soap and water, and avoiding sharing utensils or drinks with infected individuals.

Have Mumps? Here’s The Cure

Dr Gupta lists the following cure for mumps:

Symptomatic Treatment: There is no specific cure for mumps, but symptomatic treatment can help alleviate discomfort. This may involve rest, pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce fever and relieve pain, and applying warm or cold packs to the swollen glands to ease discomfort.

Isolation: Infected individuals should be isolated to prevent the spread of the virus to others. This typically involves staying home from work or school until the swelling subsides and they are no longer contagious, which is usually about five days after symptoms begin.

Complication Management: In some cases, mumps can lead to complications such as meningitis, orchitis (inflammation of the testicles in males), or deafness. These complications require specific treatments tailored to each individual’s needs and may involve medications, supportive care, or surgery.

“In conclusion, while mumps is generally a mild illness, it’s essential to take preventive measures such as vaccination and good hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection. Early recognition of symptoms and appropriate management can help alleviate discomfort and prevent complications. If you suspect you or someone you know has mumps, consult a healthcare professional for guidance and appropriate care,” advises Dr Anish Gupta.