Mumps is another contagious illness. The incubation period is usually 16 to 18 days. The affected individual may have fever, headache, vomiting, and achiness and swelling of the salivary glands, usually the specific type called the parotid glands. The swelling starts on one side and then affects both sides in most cases. Ear pain may also be felt on the swollen side.
Complications may be in the form of meningitis (inflammation of the brain lining), meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and its lining), orchitis (inflammation of the testicle), and oophoritis (inflammation of the ovary). The patient may also have pancreatitis as a complication. Carditis (inflammation of the heart) and arthritis have also been reported complications. It is best to consult a doctor to be sure of the diagnosis. Swelling of the lymph nodes located on the side of the neck may be mistaken as mumps.
There is no specific antiviral therapy available for mumps. Management is aimed at reducing the pain associated with mumps, meningitis, or orchitis. Make sure your child drinks a lot of fluids as well. You may give antipyretics to bring down the fever.
The affected individual should avoid intake of sour or acidic food and drinks since it may aggravate the pain in the parotid area (near the angle of the jaw). Children should be isolated for five days from the start of the parotid swelling.
Mumps vaccine is available in combination with measles and rubella (MMR) or with varicella (MMRV). MMR is recommended for children aged 12 to15 months followed by a booster at 4 to 6 years of age. The MMRV vaccine is indicated for individuals from 12 months up to 12 years.