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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Children's Health Mumps in children

Mumps in children

Mumps is a disease caused by virus that usually spreads through saliva infecting many parts of the body especially parotid salivary glands.

Signs and symptoms:

High fever up to 103, headache and loss of appetite.
Pain in parotid glands, swelling of glands. Pain increases while swallowing, talking, chewing and drinking.

Mumps can cause inflammation, swelling of the brain and other organs. Encephalitis (inflammation of brain) and meningitis (inflammation on the lining of brain and spinal cord) are the some complications of mumps.

Symptoms appear in the first week after the parotid glands begin to swell and the symptoms are high fever, neck stiffness, headache, nausea and vomiting, convulsions, drowsiness etc.

Mumps in adult males results in development of orchitis (inflammation of testicles). The testicle becomes swollen after about 7 to 10 days after parotid swelling.
It can cause serious problems like deafness, swelling of brain, spinal cord, testicles, breasts or ovaries.

Contagiousness of mumps:

The mumps virus is contagious and spreads in tiny drops of fluid from the mouth and nose of infected person. It can spread through sneezing, coughing or even laughing. It can also spread through direct contact like picking the tissues, drinking with glasses used by the infected person.

The persons who have mumps are most contagious from 2 days before the symptoms begin to the 6 days after they end.

Prevention: Mumps can be prevented by vaccination. The vaccine can be given alone or as a part of MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, chicken pox) immunization. The vaccine is given to the kids at 12-15month of age.
It takes 10 to 12 days for recovery from mumps. It takes around one week for the parotid swelling to disappear.

How to manage a child with mumps:

  • The child’s temperature should be checked and recorded every hour.
  • Use non aspirin fever medications like Paracetamol or ibuprofen should be given for fever and pain.
  • Use warm or cold packs on parotid swelling.
  • Give soft, bland diet that does not require excess of chewing.
  • Give more of fluids and liquids like vegetable soups.
  • Allow the child to have enough rest and sleep.
  • Avoid giving citric fruits and vegetable juices like tomato juice, orange juice.