Mumps is a contagious viral infection that increases the parotid glands in volume, making them painful (salivary glands located between the ear and jaw).
Mumps is transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes and also by contact with recently contaminated objects such as towels, handkerchiefs, glasses or dirty hands. Infection witha a virus known as a Paramyxovirus causes mumps.
Disease incubation lasts between 17 and 21 days, and it is followed by a moderate fever and ear pain for one or two days. The child is contagious one week before symptoms and about 8 days after their occurrence. Inflammation of parotid glands first appear on one side, then both sides and is manifested by swelling covering the back of the jaw grooves. It causes pain when chewing and when parotids are pressed. Sometimes angina and affected neighboring nodes are associated. Headaches are common. Evolution is often benign and the disease regresses by itself in about ten days. Sometimes, mumps can cause testicle swelling, but that happens rarely in boys before puberty. Lack of appetite and vomiting is also very common in mumps
- Day 1. Facial pain when chewing or pain that the child can not locate exactly, high fever.
- Day 2. Swelling and tenderness of one side of the face (possibly on both sides), pain when opening mouth, high fever, sore throat which increases with swallowing, dry mouth
- Day 3: pronounced swelling of the face, usually bilateral.
- Days 4th and 6th: gradual reduction of swelling and other signs and symptoms
- 13th day: the child is no longer contagious.
Mumps in some cases, has a neuromeningeal form (meningitis, encephalitis, reaching the auditory nerve), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) are also possible and likely to occur without inflammation of the parotids.
What you can do when your child has mumps?
Check if the child has high fever, if so give him paracetamol syrup to reduce body temperature. Give the child plenty of fluids, but avoid fizzy drinks or fruit juices. The child can drink through a straw if mouth opening is painful. If swallowing is painful soup is recommended. Fill a bottle with hot water and wrap it in a towel and then let your child put his face on it to reduce the swelling.
Treatment consists of administration of drugs that fight fever and, in case of pain, the administration of NSAIDs. In most cases mumps is self-limiting disease and the treatment is only relieves symptoms as they occur, primarily through anti-inflammatory and antipyretic drugs. Bed rest is recommended only when needed. With this measure, there are no statistics showing a decrease in the rate of complications and it can be uncomfortable for the patient, so best is required only when desired. Diet is another very important factor to consider. This should match the ability to eat without difficulty. If intake is possible, there is no contraindication to limit supply. The sick child should avoid collectively activities at least 15 days because of the risk of contagion. After he had mumps, the child is immunized completely (for life).
There is an effective vaccine, proposed to adolescents and young adults who did not had mumps and children past the age of 1 year.Vaccine for infants is also associated with rubella and measles vaccine (MMR vaccine).