Mumps : Salivary Gland Infections : Causes & Diagnosis

Mumps is a contagious disease that leads to painful swelling of the salivary glands. The salivary glands produce saliva, a liquid that moistens food and helps you chew and swallow.

Causes & Risk Factors
The mumps are caused by a virus. The virus is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets (for example, when you sneeze) or by direct contact with items that have been contaminated with infected saliva.

Mumps most commonly occurs in children ages 2 – 12 who have not been vaccinated against the disease. However, the infection can occur at any age. The time between being exposed to the virus and getting sick (incubation period) is usually 12 – 24 days.

Mumps may also infect the:

  • Central nervous system
  • Pancreas
  • Testes

Tests & Diagnostics
A physical examination confirms the presence of the swollen glands. No testing is usually required.

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