Mumps: An Emergency Medicine-Focused Update



      Mumps is a Paramyxoviridae virus. This disease was rampant prior to introduction of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, resulting in decreased incidence. This disease has demonstrated several outbreaks.


      This review provides a focused evaluation of mumps, an update on outbreaks, management recommendations, and ways to decrease transmission.


      Clusters of mumps outbreaks continue to occur. The virus is a paramyxovirus, a single-stranded RNA virus. The vaccine can provide lifelong immunity if administered properly, though prior to 1967 and introduction of the vaccine, the virus was common. In the past decade, there have been several notable outbreaks. Humans are the only known hosts, with disease spread through exposure to droplets and saliva. Factors affecting transmission include age, compromised immunity, time of year, travel, and vaccination status. Upper respiratory symptoms, fever, and headache are common, with unilateral or bilateral parotitis, and the virus may spread to other systems. Diagnosis is clinical, though polymerase chain reaction and immunoglobulin testing are available. This review provides several recommendations for vaccine in pregnancy, patients living in close quarters, health care personnel, and those immunocompromised. Treatment is generally supportive, with emphasis on proper isolation to prevent widespread outbreaks. Although reporting regulations and procedures vary by state, mumps is reportable in most states.


      Mumps is an easily spread virus. Although vaccination is the most effective way to prevent transmission, early recognition of the disease is crucial. As an emergency physician, it is important to recognize the clinical presentation, recommended testing, treatment, and isolation procedures.


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