Thursday, March 7, 2019

VIDEO: Mumps Virus Causes Puffy Cheeks and Sometimes, Serious Complications

Editor's Note: This video is part of a monthly Texas Medical Association series highlighting contagious diseases that childhood and adult vaccinations can prevent. will post a video about a different disease each month. Some of the diseases featured will include: Flu, Measles, Pneumococcal disease, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Chickenpox and shingles, Hepatitis A, Pertussis (whooping cough), Rubella (also known as German measles), Rotavirus, and Polio.

TMA designed the series to inform people of the facts about these diseases and to help them understand the benefits of vaccinations to prevent illness. Visit the TMA website to see news releases and more information about these diseases, as well as physicians’ efforts to raise immunization awareness.

In this short video, Austin pediatrician and physician leader Arathi Shah, MD, discusses the severity of mumps, having witnessed the disease firsthand as a medical student in India. She discusses why it's important to get vaccinated, and who should get the shots and when.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Symptoms usually include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Infected patients typically get puffy cheeks as a result of swollen salivary glands. Mumps spreads through sneezing, coughing, and direct contact with infected surfaces. Doctors say people of any age can experience symptoms two weeks after the virus has already entered the body.That means, as Dr. Shah explains, for a couple of weeks someone could expose people to the disease before they even realize they are sick.

Mumps cases have been on the rise in the United States the last few years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 2,000 mumps cases were reported in 2018. In Texas that year, outbreaks were reported in Fort Worth, San Marcos, and Dallas. The most recent mumps outbreak in Texas was just last month in Houston.

Mumps can be prevented with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The CDC says when health officials first introduced the shot in 1967, the number of cases dropped 99 percent. Doctors recommend children get two doses of the vaccine. Some people opt for the MMRV shot – which includes a chickenpox vaccine. Adults who haven't been vaccinated, along with college-age students, can also get the vaccine. During outbreaks, doctors suggest high-risk groups to consider a third dose.

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