|Mumps is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It is spread by infected droplets from saliva and nasal passage ways which are breathed in by other people. The incubation period is 14 to 21 days from exposure to the disease.|
Symptoms of mumps commence with a general feeling of being unwell, accompanied by a fever and the gradual onset over 24 to 48 hours of swelling of the salivary glands located between the angle of the jaw and the ear on each side of the face. The swelling can then involve the other two salivary glands in succession. These glands are located just under the jaw line on the side of the face as it extends down the jaw. In the complete picture you may have the ear lobe on each side pushed away from the face and the smooth line of the jaw lost in the swelling.
A person suffering from mumps is infectious from 1 to 2 days before the symptoms appear until the swelling of the glands disappears. In children the attack might be mild with only 1 or 2 glands involved on one side and there may be little discomfort and fever.
Complications of mumps include pain and swelling of the testicles which occurs in approximately 25% of adult males with mumps. This is a serious complication as about half the cases are followed by permanent damage to the testes and decreased fertility.
Adult females can get involvement of the ovary, although complication appears not to affect fertility. However, adults suffering from mumps should be kept at rest in bed until the acute stage of the disease is over.
Other complications include a form of meningitis which is common and not as serious as it sounds. This form of meningitis settles as the general infection clears up and only a headache increasing in severity would be a cause for alarm and a reason to seek advice from your doctor.
Other complications may include pancreatitis with associated upper abdominal pain and nausea with vomiting. Lower abdominal pain on either side in the female may indicate inflammation of the ovaries.
The complications in mumps indicate a need for strict bed rest with medical supervision from your doctor. There may be a need for stronger pain killers, support for the scrotum in the case of the male and there may be a need for a short course of corticosteriods (cortisone) to relieve swelling and pain.
The treatment of mumps consists of bed rest until the fever subsides. Pain killers may be needed. Remember to give paracetamol and not aspirin in the case of the young child.
Isolation during the infectious period is necessary.
Mouth washes will help keep the mouth fresh and clean but in the early stages of extreme swelling this may be difficult. In young children with mild attacks it can be extremely difficult to keep them in bed and isolation at home might be all that can be managed.
Mumps vaccine is available and should be given between the ages of 12 and 15 months. It should not be given in the first year of life when the child is protected by the motherís antibodies. It is said to produce a life time immunity.
|Aspirin and Young Children (Reyes Syndrome).||Autism.|
|Bed Wetting or Nocturnal Enuresis.||Breast or Bottle Feeding.|
|Chicken Pox (Varicella).||Childhood Immunization/Vaccination|
|Convulsions in Childhood.||Croup.|
|Cystic Fibrosis (CF).||Deafness in Childhood.|
|Diarrhoea and Vomiting.||Downs Syndrome.|
|Dyslexia.||Fever in Infants.|
|German Measles (Rubella).||Heart Murmurs|
|Heat Exhaustion in Children.||Hyperactivity in Childhood.|
|Nappy Rash.||Normal Development (Baby Care).|
|Speech Development in Children||Spina Bifida.|
|Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Cot Death.||Teething.|
|Your Baby Won't Sleep.||Whooping Cough (Pertussis)|
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