MUMPS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     11th March 2024        

Context: The Kerala state is facing an outbreak of mumps, a contagious viral infection that spreads the same way as cold and flu, with over 10,000 children affected in less than 70 days.


  • About: It is a viral illness. It can involve pain, tenderness, and swelling in one or both parotid salivary glands.
  • Caused by: Mumps virus, a member of the paramyxovirus group, and is highly contagious.
  • Symptoms: The illness begins with mild symptoms like headache, fever, and fatigue, progressing to severe swelling in the salivary glands, leading to puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.
  • Transmission: Humans are the exclusive host for the mumps virus, which spreads through direct contact or airborne droplets from infected individuals' upper respiratory tracts.
  • Affected Population: Primarily affects unvaccinated children aged 2 to 12, though vaccinated adolescents and adults can also contract the disease due to waning immunity.
  • Incubation Period: Mumps has an average incubation period of 16 to 18 days, with a range of 12 to 25 days.
  • Treatment: There is no specific treatment for mumps; however, symptomatic relief can be provided with medication.
  • Mumps Vaccine: Children should get two doses of MMR vaccine:
  • the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and
  • The second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.