Infectious agent: Mumps virus
Description of illness:
Mumps is a vaccine-preventable systemic viral illness that is transmitted through droplets when people cough or sneeze, with an average incubation period of 16-18 days (range: 12-25 days). The classic mumps symptom is swelling of one or more of the salivary glands, often the parotid gland, located around the jawline. Other common symptoms that may precede parotitis include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness. Complications may include orchitis (swollen testicles), oophritis (swollen ovaries), mastitis, pancreatitis or meningitis. Up to one in three cases do not exhibit any salivary gland swelling, and may have no symptoms or a mild respiratory illness. Symptoms tend to decrease after one week and usually resolve within 10 days. Outbreaks can occur in highly vaccinated populations, especially in settings where groups have prolonged close contact, such as colleges.