Mumps is an infectious ailment brought about by a virus that leads to sore swelling of the salivary glands in front and below the ears. The condition usually affects children between the ages of 2-12 years who were not given vaccination against mumps.
The condition can also trigger flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, aches and pains, cough and sore throat. These symptoms develop first before the salivary glands becomes swollen. The swelling might be minor or barely noticeable in some cases and can occur on one or both sides of the face.
The infection can spread from one individual to another via droplets of saliva or mucus. The symptoms arise at any time from 12-25 days after being infected. Remember that mumps is highly contagious and those infected must be isolated for 5 days once the swelling of the salivary gland is evident. Oftentimes, it is possible to become infected by the virus without having any symptoms.
The characteristic indication of mumps is having swollen salivary glands that is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms that start before the facial swelling is evident.
- Facial pain
- Sore throat
- Swollen parotid glands
- Swollen jaw or temples
Various factors increase the risk for developing the condition such as:
- Close exposure to those with mumps
- Lack of vaccination
Mumps usually settles on its own without requiring specific treatment. Even though there are no available medications, there are self-care measures to alleviate the symptoms and improve the prognosis.
Pain medications such as ibuprofen can be given to relieve the symptoms. Other measures to improve the symptoms include the following:
- Apply an ice pack on the neck
- Eat soft foods
- Increase the intake of fluids
- Gargle warm salt water