It’s quite easy to know if a person has mumps because of the obvious swelling of the parotid salivary glands, which are found between the ear and the jaw. Mumps usually occur in ages 5-14, which explain why we usually get mumps during childhood. The disease can also occur among adults, although the rates are significantly lower than the occurrence among children.
Signs and Symptoms of Mumps Infection
High fever is usually the first indication of mumps, with body temperatures reaching up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit or 39.4 degrees Celsius. An infected person will experience headache and drastic loss of appetite. The swelling in parotid glands will then appear, and are usually painful. The pain usually lasts 1 to 3 days, which worsens with pressure from talking, eating, chewing and swallowing. The swelling can affect one or both cheeks, with one side swelling before the other. Adult and adolescent males infected with mumps can also experience orchitis, an inflammation of the testicles. Rashes can also occur. Testicular swelling, which will last for 3 to 7 days, usually occurs after the parotids have swelled, and will be accompanied by high fever, chills, nausea and abdominal pain. Mumps can have serious complications such as swelling and inflammation of the brain and other organs. Encephalitis, meningitis and sterility among males are also serious complications, but these cases are very rare in relation to mumps.
The disease can be passed on through the saliva, and can spread if an infected person coughs or sneezes near an uninfected individual. The virus can also be picked up by using drinking glasses or utensils used by the infected person. Mumps are most contagious two days before the symptoms begin, and up to six days after the symptoms end. There are mild cases where an infected person will experience no symptoms at all.
Treatment of Mumps
A vaccine, usually given to children ages 4 to 6, can help fight off the disease. The fever and pain can be alleviated by taking Paracetamol, or non-aspirin medications. Patients are advised to eat soft foods and gargle with warm water and salt in order not to worsen the pain. They are advised not to take acidic foods or drinks such as orange foods, because it can add to the pain. If complications occur, see your doctor immediately.
Consult a Doctor
This article was written for information purposes. Should the reader recognize any symptom, it is strongly advised that a doctor be consulted for proper treatment and guidance.