Mumps is a viral infection that causes painful swelling in the parotid or salivary glands. It is characterized by tenderness and swelling in the joint and there is puffiness of the cheeks.
Mumps is a contagious disease and it is caused by a virus that can be passed from one person to another through their nasal secretions, saliva and direct personal contact. The condition affects the salivary glands also known as the parotid gland which are responsible in producing saliva. The face has 3 sets of salivary glands on each side of the face, one behind and below the ears.
Causes of mumps
- Caused by mump virus which can be spread from person to person through infected saliva
- Breathing saliva droplets from sneezes or coughing
- Sharing utensils with a person who is infected with mumps
- Weakness and fatigue
- Swollen and painful salivary glands on one or both sides of the face or parotitis
- Pain while chewing and swallowing
- Fever of 38 C or 100 F or above
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling testicles or breast
- Swollen ovaries
- Pain in the joints and aches
- Mild abdominal pain
- Nausea and general feeling of illness
- Take plenty of bed rest until fever totally disappears. Mumps usually settles in a week or two weeks. Children recover from the condition in 10-12 days. For adult is about 16-18 days.
- Isolate the affected person or the child to prevent spread of the infection to others. Mumps is still contagious for a week after the onset of the symptoms.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to lessen the pain and the inflammation. Avoid giving aspirin to children and teenagers to prevent the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome which is a dangerous condition for children and teenagers.
- Apply warm or cold compress on the affected area to lessen the pain of the swelling glands. Apply alternately hot and cold compress to lessen the tenderness and the pain. When using heat and cold therapy, avoid placing it directly on the skin to prevent further irritation and worsen the condition. Wrap them using a towel or a piece of cloth before placing to the area.
- Wear an athletic supporter and apply cold compress to lessen the pain and the tenderness of the testicles. Wrap cold compress with a towel before placing to the area. Another alternative is using frozen bags of vegetables such as peas or corn is also good for the condition.
- If the breasts swell, apply cold compress to the area to relieve of any pain.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated and for fast healing of the condition.