Mumps is a contagious viral infection that affects children. There is swelling in one or both salivary glands that are found on the sides of the face and these are also known as the parotid glands. When they are swollen, the person affected develops a “hamster like” face. Once a person has mumps, they become immune to future infections.
Symptoms of mumps
The symptoms happen 2-3 weeks after the person has been infected and there is swelling and sore parotid glands where the cheeks are puffing out. The common symptoms include the following:
- Pain in the sides of the face where it is swelling
- Pain and difficulty when swallowing
- Dryness of the mouth and loss of appetite
- There is pain in the joints, fever and high body temperature
- Tiredness and weakness
- Headaches and nausea
Causes of mumps
Mumps can be transmitted through respiratory secretions like the saliva from an infected person. You can learn more about infection control by registering for first aid training. The virus will spread from the respiratory tract to the salivary glands and reproduce, thus causing the swelling of the glands through the following:
- Sharing of food and drinks with an infected person
- Sneezing and coughing
- Using the same plates and cutlery with an infected person
- An infected person touches their nose and mouth by their hands and passes it into a surface and anybody who touches it will be infected.
Complications of mumps
Orchitis is a condition in which the testicles swells and becomes sore. This happens to males after reaching their puberty stage.
Oophoritis is a condition in which the ovaries are swelling and painful. It sometimes happens to females after reaching their puberty stage.
Viral meningitis is a condition in which the virus spreads through the bloodstream and infects the central nervous system of the body.
An inflamed pancreas occurs where pain is experienced in the upper abdomen and it is usually mild.
Treatment and home remedies
- Apply warm or cold compress on a swelling parotid glands to minimize the pain.
- Avoid drinking acidic juices like orange and grapefruit since they can make the pain severe.
- Drink plenty of fluids especially water.
- Eat foods that are easy to chew.
- Always monitor fever since some people who are infected develop high fever.
- Take pain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin
- Infected children should rest, kept away from school until the swelling is completely healed.
- Some homeopathic medications to help relieve the symptoms include belladonna can be used for throbbing headaches and glands that are swelling and warm to the touch. Mercurius is useful for right-sided swelling while pilocarpinum is suitable as an overall remedy of the symptoms.
How to prevent mumps from spreading
- Wash hands with soap and water as often as possible.
- Not going to school or work until 5 days after the symptoms of mumps starts appearing.
- By covering the nose and mouth with a cloth or tissue when sneezing or coughing