What is mumps?
Mumps is an acute and highly contagious viral illness that usually occurs in childhood. Spread by airborne droplets from the upper respiratory tract, the disease usually takes two to three weeks to appear. Cases of mumps in the US have declined dramatically with the introduction of the mumps vaccine.
What are the symptoms of mumps?
Many children have no or very mild symptoms. The following are the most common symptoms of mumps. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- mild sickness
- discomfort in the salivary glands, which may become swollen and tender
- difficulty chewing
- muscle aches
- loss of appetite
- pain in salivary glands when eating sour foods
The symptoms of mumps may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Treatment for mumps:
Specific treatment for mumps will be determined by your physician based on:
- your overall health and medical history
- extent of the condition
- your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the condition
- your opinion or preference
Treatment is usually limited to painkillers and plenty of fluids. Sometimes bedrest is necessary the first few days. Children should stay out of school until symptoms have subsided.