Mumps is caused by a paramyxovirus and is an infection of the salivary glands. It spreads through saliva either in form of droplets when a person coughs or sneezes or shouts close to your face. Even sharing of utensils may spread mumps.
- Swelling behind the ear. It may be unilateral or bilateral. The swelling is usually associated with pain, particularly while eating and swallowing.
Most cases are mild and do not have any complications. Like most virals there is no specific treatment. For pain child can be given paracetamol or ibuprofen as required. Give lots of liquids to your child and let her get adequate rest.
Complications in mumps are rare but it is important for parents to be aware about them.
- Meningitis – involvement of meninges – covering of brain and spinal cord – severe headache, vomiting’s, lethargy may be there
- Orchitis – Rarely testes may develop inflammation and swelling. It is painful.
- Encephalitis – brain infection – may present with headache, vomiting, abnormal behaviour, fits, very lethargic, confusion, disorientation.
- Pancreatitis – associated with severe abdomen pain, vomiting’s
- Hearing loss
Prevention / Vaccination –
Mumps is one of the infections against which a very effective vaccine is available. Make sure you get your child vaccinated on time against mumps. Even if a vaccinated child gets mumps it will be milder and chances of complications will be close to negligible.