Mumps in children is usually a mild infectious disease, classically
producing swellings at the side of the face. These swellings are
due to enlargement and inflammation of the glands that produce saliva.
The affected glands lie just below and just in front of the ears.
They are called the parotid glands.
is no rash with mumps.
a long incubation period of 3 weeks these symptoms appear:
may feel unwell for a day or two
of the face develops - on one or both sides
swollen glands are often painful
may be uncomfortable
mouth: The inflamed glands produce less saliva
in boys. This is inflammation of the testes. It is a painful condition,
often affecting only one testis which becomes swollen and tender.
Even if both testes are affected, sterility (inability to have children
on reaching adulthood) is exceptionally rare.
uncommon side effects of mumps are:
- causing upper abdominal pain
(inflammation of the brain)
(inflammation of the breasts)
(inflammation of the ovaries)
Any person who has not had mumps before or who has not been vaccinated.
It is caused by a virus that enters the body through the mouth or
nose. Droplets spread from an infected person is the normal mode
of transmission. Patients are infectious until the swollen glands
decrease in size.
mumps be prevented?
Although the complications of mumps are rare, they are so serious,
e.g. meningitis and encephalitis, that avoidance of this disease
is extremely necessary. A single injection of the MMR vaccine between
12 - 18 months gives protection against mumps.
the Health Education Authority Adverts say 'Give your child something
you never had - the MMR vaccine.'
How should you treat mumps?
fever (see fever control article)
soups and liquidised foods
hot water bottle in a towel held against the swollen glands can
ease the pain
your G.P. to confirm diagnosis
is no cure for mumps. Your doctor may advise paracetamol for any
pain that is present, be it in the swollen glands, tummy or testes.
Call your G.P. if there is any headache with neck stiffness, or
if you are worried.