What is mumps?
Mumps is a contagious viral disease, that primarily affects the salivary glands present near the ears, which are known as parotids. There are three sets of salivary glands in the mouth, that are responsible for producing saliva. One set of salivary glands is present in each side of the face, other two are present behind and below the ears.
Mumps is a contagious disease that spreads from person to person via saliva, nasal secretions and by coming in contact with the infected person.
The initial symptoms of mumps include fever, muscle pain, headache, poor appetite and general feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
The cases of mumps have dramatically reduced after the availability of vaccine. However, the outbreak of disease still happens sometimes in people who are not vaccinated, or the ones who come in close contact of the people, like in schools and colleges.
Mumps is a contagious viral disease. It spreads by coming in contact with the droplets produced by the infected person through coughing or sneezing. The disease can also spread by eating or drinking from the utensils that has been used by the infected person. The chances of getting infected decrease significantly, it the person is immunised.
Sign and symptoms
The sign and symptoms of mumps are usually produced 2 to 3 weeks after getting infected. However, most of the times, in mild infection, no significant symptoms are produced. In the initial stage, the disease may present with flu like symptoms along with-
- Swelling in the parotids of one or both side of the glands
- Body aches
- Loss of appetite
- Low grade fever followed by high grade in next few days
The swelling and pain in the glands is mostly periodic. The child having mumps is mostly contagious at the times, only when there is the episode of swelling in the glands. Mumps is maximum contagious after 9 days from the symptoms have set in.
Complications are rare in the case of mumps. However, there are some complications that can be serious. Most of the times, complications involve swelling of various body parts, like-
- Swelling of one or both testicles, post puberty. It is a painful condition, but does not lead to sterility.
- Inflammation of the brain, that may lead to various neurological complications, which may even prove fatal.
- Swelling in the pancreas, that may cause abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
Other associated complaints may include-
- Hearing problems
- Heart problems, like abnormalities in heart beat and disease related to heart muscles.
- Infection in the early months of pregnancy may cause miscarriage
For the diagnosis of mumps, doctor will take the medical history of the patient, along with physical examination, to look for swelling in the parotids. There are very obvious symptoms in children, like decrease in appetite, fever, difficulty in opening of mouth and visible swelling in the glands.
For the confirmation of the diagnosis, doctor may send the blood sample for the investigation of mumps virus. Doctor may also ask, if the child has received the vaccine for mumps, as the initial symptoms are similar to many diseases.
Homeopathy has wonderful medicines for the treatment of mumps. The homeopathic medicines can easily reduce the swelling, pain and discomfort caused to a child while suffering from mumps.
Homeopathic medicines can also effectively manage other accessory symptoms like loss of appetite, fever, tiredness and irritability, caused in the disease.