Mumps is an acute viral infection, usually benign. It results from a contamination by the mumps virus . It is a very contagious disease that is epidemic, especially during early childhood. With a transmission that occurs most often in schools. It is transmitted by droplets of saliva.
The virus has a glandular tropism, that is to say, it lodges preferably in certain glands, especially the parotides (salivary glands located in front of the ear lobes). It can also reach the pancreas, testicles, and, more rarely, the nervous system. And cause, respectively, pancreatitis, orchitis, meningitis or encephalitis.
The incubation period (between the moment the organism is infected with the virus and the appearance of the signs of the disease) lasts about 3 weeks. In addition, the patient is contagious about 7 days before the onset of the disease and for the next 7 days.
It heals most often without complications. A person who has mumps is immune and thus protected all his life against this virus.
The vaccine against the virus (two doses at 12 and 18 months) is very effective. However, vaccination coverage remains insufficient (90%) to hope for an eradication of the disease.
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Authors: Dr. MC Bonduelle and Dr. Ada Picard.