Your Health

Causes of Mumps & How it Spreads

Mumps is a contagious condition triggered by the mumps virus. It mostly affects children and involves the central nervous system. Typical symptoms include the swelling of the salivary glands near the ear and in the mouth as well as a fever. The illness is more common during spring and late winter. Thanks to the development of the vaccine, the number of cases has been quite low over the past decades. Read on to learn common causes of mumps and how the virus spreads.

The Mumps Virus and How it Spreads

Mumps is primarily caused by the paramyxovirus virus, which can penetrate the body via the mucous membranes located inside the throat, nose, and mouth. This virus would survive in respiratory fluids. Through sneezing and coughing, respiratory droplets carrying viral elements would spread from person to person. You would also be infected after touching items with the virus on the surface. Being in close contact or sharing utensils, cups, and objects would increase the risk of developing mumps. Lack of personal hygiene can also make the virus spread more easily.

The incubation period for mumps is around 2 to 3 weeks. After this time, symptoms start to occur. This means you would be infected by those people who do not show clear signs. [1]