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Mumps is a viral infection that causes swelling of the salivary glands. The parotid glands are most affected by mumps. Also, other salivary glands in and around the face may get infected. Symptoms of mumps are: high fever, headache, loss of appetite, swelling of parotid/ salivary glands or under the tongue, aches, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, convulsions, fatigue, or weakness. Young children age 5-14 are more susceptible to infection. Mumps is uncommon in children younger than 1 year old. The mumps virus is airborne and transferred by cough droplets flying through the air. A person nearby can inhale the particles which contain the virus. When it passes down into human lungs it can get into bloodstream, finally settling in salivary glands causing mumps. Mumps in male often result in an inflammation of testicles. They become swollen and painful for up to ten days. Also, in female the virus can cause swelling of the ovaries, causing pain and tenderness in low parts of the abdomen. In addition, mumps may affect the pancreas or under some condition swelling of the brain. There can also be swelling and pain in the joints. Some complications of mumps are very serious but rare; such as pancreatitis, encephalitis, meningitis, loss of hearing.
Treatment of mumps includes; giving lots of fluids, providing comfort and acetaminophen for fever. Sometimes a warm compress over the swollen glands will give some pain relief for a short period of time. An affected individual should eat soft foods and avoid sour such as citrus fruits or juices that stimulate saliva production. In this case antibiotics are not an effective treatment, because mumps is a virus, not a bacteria.
A person can only get mumps one time, after being sick with it ones, body becomes immune to the virus. This infection was common until the mumps vaccine was made in 1967. Before the vaccine was available, there were more than 200,000 cases of mumps in the United States each year. Now, for prophylactic of this infection, vaccine is usually given as a combined measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), which contains the safest and most effective form of each vaccine. In our country, most people get vaccinated in childhood.