Mumps is an infectious disease that is usually caused by a virus. It can be spread through coughing as well as sneezing. Mumps has no treatment. Therefore, it can lead to long-term health complications.
The following signs and symptoms will show up within 7-10 days of developing mumps:
The MMR Shot
Mumps has no cure. Therefore, administering the MMR shot to your child is a good idea. The MMR shot will:
• Protect the child from mumps. The shot will also protect him/her against measles and rubella.
• Protect your child from developing a fever as well as the swollen glands characteristic of mumps under his/her ears and jaw.
• Mumps can affect any part of the body. However, it usually affects the salivary glands, heart, reproductive organs, brain cells, mammary glands, liver, kidneys, joints, and pancreas.
• The mumps incubation period ranges from 14 to 25 days.
• The virus that causes mumps is highly infectious and can be transmitted via the saliva and mucosal droplets of an infected person.
It is Fatal?
Mumps is mild in most children. However, if left untreated, it can cause serious, lasting complications, such as:
• Meningitis: This is an infection that affects the brain and spinal cord.
• Deafness: It can lead to temporal or permanent deafness.
• Encephalitis: This is inflammation of the brain.
• Orchitis: This is the swelling of the male reproductive organs. It usually occurs when a young boy reaches puberty.
• Oophoritis: Mumps can cause the ovaries to swell. It can also lead to swelling of the breasts in young girls who have reached puberty.
• It will will usually affect the nervous system.
• Meningism will occur in around 15 percent of patients.
• Meningism will usually occur without parotitis.
How Can it be Managed?
Mumps has no cure. However, with early diagnosis, proper treatment, and effective management, you can alleviate the symptoms. Non-drug management involves drinking lots of fluids and keeping the mouth moist, while certain drugs can be effective as well.
Drugs like paracetamol and Ibuprofen can be used to alleviate the symptoms of mumps, while treatment involves bedrest and lots of fluids.
Almost 80% of mumps cases will see a full recovery. However, about 1 in 1,000 people suffering from mumps meningitis will develop encephalitis. 1.5% of such cases are fatal.
• Administer MMR vaccine as a preventative measure
• Take precautions with your hygiene
• If your child has been diagnosed with mumps, you are advised to exclude him/her from school for 5-7 days