What is the Mumps?
The mumps virus (paramyxovirus) is spread from person to person by kissing, coughs and sneezes. Mumps causes fever, headache and usually painful swollen salivary glands with swollen cheeks or jaws. Complications are rare, however they include Meningitis and deafness, inflammation of the testicles and ovaries. Sterility occurs very rarely.
There have been several cases of mumps in the college and you may have been exposed. If you have either had mumps or have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, the chance of developing mumps is extremely low. If, however, you have not had mumps and have not received two doses of the MMR vaccine, then it is quite possible that you might get mumps.
MMR is the best protection against mumps. Two doses of MMR are recommended. If you are under 25 you may have had only one vaccine.
What can you do?
Check, with your GP whether you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine.
Tell your friends to do the same.
Students with Mumps must stay out of college for five days. To avoid missing exams or important lectures, please ensure that you are protected against the mumps.
At the first signs of feeling unwell contact your GP or the Student Health Centre for advice.
Please call into the Student Health Service if you are not sure what to do or telephone 700 5766 for more information.
There are currently no anti-viral medications that can be used to treat mumps. Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms until your body's immune system manages to fight off the infection.
The self-care techniques listed below should help.
- Get plenty of bed rest until your symptoms have passed.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can reduce symptoms of pain.
- Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid drinks that are known to stimulate saliva production, such as fruit juice, because excess saliva can cause pain. Water is usually the best fluid to drink.
- Applying a cold compress to your swollen glands should help to reduce the pain.
- Eat foods that do not require a lot of chewing, such as soup, mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs.
Preventing the spread of infection
In people with mumps, preventing the spread of infection is also important. The advice below explains the best way to do this.
- Stay away from school, college or work until five days after the onset of your symptoms.
- Wash your hands regularly, using soap and water.
- Always use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze. Throw the tissue in a bin immediately afterwards.