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Teens and young adults are recommended to receive the mumps jab to prevent the complications tied to the disease.
The vaccine is usually given at 12 to 13 months, with a booster shot before school entry at about three-to-four years old. To be fully protected from the disease, two doses are needed. For adults who haven’t received the jab or just had one dose in childhood, it’s not too late to get the vaccine.
Trials have shown about 99 percent of people will be protected against measles and rubella after two doses of the vaccine called MMR (mumps measles rubella) vaccine. For mumps, the protection is 88 percent. What is mumps?
Mumps is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that mumps starts with a fever, muscle pains, fatigue, loss of appetite, and headache. After developing these symptoms, the inflammation of the salivary glands occurs, which causes jaw swelling and puffy cheeks. Mumps virus. 3D illustration showing structure of mumps virus with surface glycoprotein spikes heamagglutinin-neuraminidase and fusion protein. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon
The condition usually affects the parotid glands, the glands that produce saliva, which is located front and beneath the ear.
Mumps spread the virus the same way as colds and flu, through infected droplets when people cough or sneeze. Further, mumps is still infectious a few days before the symptoms manifest. The best way to contain the virus is to prevent it from spreading to others through regular handwashing, using disposable tissue when you sneeze, and stay at home for at least five days after the symptoms developed. Sources:
Kmietowicz, Z. (2020). Unvaccinated “Wakefield cohorts” blamed for 5000 cases of mumps in England last year. The BMJ. https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m619.full
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). Mumps. https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html
National Health System (NHS). (2020). Mumps Overview. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/mumps/
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