Paramyxovirus parotitis. Air-borne transmission. Contagion is very high.
The incubation period lasts approx. 14-21 days. In 50% of the cases there are no symptoms whatsoever and the disease itself is not apparent. In the other 50% there is inflammation of the salivary glands (mainly the parotid gland). There is swelling on one or both sides with fever, headaches and joint pain. Frequently the person cannot open their mouth and nourishment must consist of fluids.
There can be middle ear infections, pancreas and testicle infections. The disease is problematic during adulthood, as the course of the disease is much more severe than during childhood.
If the disease is experienced during childhood there is no infertility.
The disease can be accompanied by meningitis or meningo- encephalitis, the course of which is generally mild.
Since introduction of the vaccination the number of adolescent/adult mumps patients has increased severalfold (1967-1971 by 8.3%, 1985 38.3;( www.cdc.gov Mumps surveillance).
Having undergone mumps leads to life-long immunity.
Girls, who have mumps in childhood, seem to be protected from ovarian cancers. Mumps parotitis may lead to expression and immune recognition of a tumor-associated antigen and create effective immune surveillance of ovarian cancer cells that express this antigen (form of MUC1).(Mumps and ovarian cancer: modern interpretation of an historic association, Daniel W. Cramer, Allison F. Vitonis, Simone P. Pinheiro, John R. McKolanis, Raina N. Fichorova, Kevin E. Brown, Todd F. Hatchette, Olivera J. Finn, Cancer Causes Control (2010) 21:1193–1201)
Information on mumps vaccination:Mumps vaccination