DESCRIPTIONMumps is a mild, contagious viral disease that causes painful swelling of the salivary glands. The parotid glands (salivary glands that lie between the ear and jaw) are involved. Other organs, including the testicles, ovaries, pancreas, breasts, brain, and meninges (membranes that cover the brain), sometimes become involved. Mumps is most common in children (2 to 12 years), but approximately 10% of adults are susceptible to mumps.
Appropriate health care includes:
Home care after diagnosis.
Doctor's examination to confirm the diagnosis and treat complications, if any occur.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSInflammation, swelling, and pain of the parotid glands. The child's glands feel firm, and pain increases with chewing or swallowing.
Additional symptoms with complications:
Painful, swollen testicles.
Abdominal pain, if the ovaries or pancreas are involved.
Severe headache, if the brain or meninges are involved.
Mumps without complications:
Person-to-person transmission of the mumps virus. The virus can be transmitted anytime from 48 hours before symptoms begin to 6 days after symptoms appear. Virus incubation is 14 to 24 days after contact; the average is 18 days.
Crowded living conditions.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Obtain mumps immunizations for your child at the appropriate age. For an immunization schedule, See Appendix 1.
If your child has not had mumps or been vaccinated, and a close family member has mumps, your doctor may suggest an anti-mumps globulin. The infection may prevent the disease--it is not guaranteed--and it is expensive.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSInfections of the child's brain or meninges (meningo-encephalitis), pancreas, ovaries, breasts, or testicles. Sterility may occur if both testicles become infected (rare).
Spontaneous recovery in about 10 days if no complications occur. After having the disease, a person has lifetime immunity to mumps.
It is not necessary to isolate the infected child from the family. By the time symptoms appear, the disease has usually already spread.
Apply heat or ice--whichever feels better--intermittently to the swollen, painful glands (parotid or testicles). Use a hot-water bottle, hot towel, or ice pack.
MEDICATIONFor minor pain, use non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen. Don't use aspirin. Aspirin, when taken by children with virus infections, increases the risk of developing Reye's syndrome.
Your doctor may prescribe: stronger pain relievers; cortisone drugs, if testicles are involved.
Once the disease begins, it must run its natural course. There is no safe, readily available medicine that can kill the virus or keep it from multiplying.
Bed rest is not essential and does not reduce the possibility of complications. Allow as much activity as your child's strength and feeling of well-being allow. The child is no longer contagious when swelling disappears.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet, but your child should increase daily fluid intake to at least 6 to 8 glasses of liquid, including ginger ale, cola, tea, or water. Fruit juices or tart beverages may increase pain.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child's fever (oral) rises above 101F (38.3C).
The following occurs during the child's illness:
-- Vomiting or abdominal pain.
-- Severe headache that is not relieved by acetaminophen.
-- Drowsiness or inability to stay awake.
-- Swelling or pain in the testicle.
-- Twitching of the face muscles.
-- Discomfort or redness in the eyes.