HEALTH

Parotitis: what it is, symptoms and complications

Parotitis is an infectious disease that is caused by a Paramyxovirus virus that is characterised by enlargement of the parotid glands located under the ears.

Like other diseases, parotitis can only be transmitted by contagion from person to person. The infection can affect individuals of any age, with complications affecting adults in particular.

Parotitis has specific symptoms, which allow it to be detected and is contagious in the first few days before symptoms appear. (Source: epicentre.iss.it)

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What is parotitis
Parotitis is an infectious disease that is caused by a Paramyxovirus virus. Like other diseases, parotitis can only be transmitted by contagion from person to person. The infection can affect individuals of any age, with complications affecting adults in particular. Parotitis has very specific symptoms, which allow it to be detected and is contagious in the first few days before the onset of symptoms and the 9 days afterwards. (Source: epicentre.iss.it)
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How it is transmitted
The infection that leads to parotitis is transmitted through respiratory droplets released into the air through coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with nasopharyngeal secretions.
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Symptoms
The most obvious symptom of parotitis is swelling of the parotid glands leading to pain during chewing and swallowing. This is accompanied by malaise and fever. The day before the swelling appears, the person may experience headache, chills and a slight temperature rise.
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Complications in children
Complications that can occur in the course of the disease for children include encephalitis, meningitis, pancreatitis and hearing damage. In children, parotitis is the leading cause of acquired sensorineural deafness in children.
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Complications in adults
In adults, complications of parotitis are more frequent. For example, between 20% and 30% of males may develop orchitis after puberty. In pregnancy, however, it can lead to miscarriage if the disease occurs in the first 12 weeks of gestation.
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