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 All About Mumps

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Female Virgo
Number of posts : 4628
Birthday : 1968-09-01
Age : 50
Location : England
Registration date : 2009-01-14

PostSubject: All About Mumps   Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:50 pm


Mumps normally affects children,
but can occur at any age. It is now rare in the UK as children are routinely
immunised against it. It mainly affects the salivary glands but sometimes
other parts of the body are affected.
What are the usual symptoms of mumps?

  • Swelling and pain of one or both parotid glands are the usual main
    symptoms. (The parotid glands are the main salivary glands. They are
    just below the ears and you cannot normally see or feel them. The salivary
    glands make saliva which drains into the mouth)
  • The mouth may feel dry
  • Chewing and swallowing may be sore
  • Fever (temperature), headache, feeling tired and being off food may
    develop for a few days
  • Mild abdominal (stomach) pain may occur

The swelling of the parotid glands usually lasts 4 to 8 days. Mumps is normally
a mild illness, but complications sometimes occur. This is why immunisation
is important. There may be no symptoms, or only very minor ones. Rarely, complications
alone occur without the usual symptoms occurring first. The immune system
makes antibodies during the infection. These clear the virus and then provide
lifelong immunity. It is therefore very rare to have more than one episode
of mumps.
What are the possible complications of mumps?

  • The testes (testicles) are sometimes affected. One testis may become
    inflamed, swollen, and painful for a few days. This is uncommon in young
    children. But, about 1 in 4 males who get mumps over the age of 12 develop
    a painful swollen testis. Occasionally, both testes are affected. In
    rare cases this may cause infertility
  • Brain inflammation (encephalitis or meningitis) is an uncommon complication.
    It typically causes drowsiness, headache, stiff neck, wanting to keep
    out of the light, and vomiting. Although alarming, meningitis caused
    by the mumps virus usually clears after a few days without any long-term
    problems. However, deafness in one ear is a rare long-term problem that
    can occur
  • Inflammation of the pancreas, heart, and other organs are rare complications

What is the treatment for mumps?
There is no medicine that kills the mumps virus. Treatment aims to ease symptoms
until the body's immune system clears the virus.

  • You do not need any treatment if symptoms are mild
  • Paracetamol (Calpol, Disprol, etc for children) can ease fever and
    pain, Ibuprofen is an alternative
  • Keep cool if you have a fever
  • Drink plenty, particularly if you have a fever. Fruit juice may stimulate
    the parotid gland to make more saliva, and cause more pain. Water is
    best if this occurs
  • A warm flannel held against a painful parotid gland is soothing

When to seek medical help?
If you believe you have contracted mumps, the best advice is to see your doctor
and advise the university by telephone of your situation, whilst staying
away until recovered.
Should people with mumps keep away from others?
Yes. Mumps is very infectious (contagious). It is passed on by coughing and
sneezing the virus into the air. It takes 14 to 21 days to develop symptoms
after being infected. Affected people are infectious from 6 days before,
until about 5 days after, a parotid gland begins to swell. It is best not
to mix with others once mumps is suspected. Adults immunised against mumps
are unlikely to catch mumps. However, immunisation is not 100% effective.
Also, some adults may not be immune and some children may have a poor immune

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