It is an acute communicable disease caused by a virus and is characterized by inflammation and swelling of one or both parotid glands with mild general symptoms.
Mode of Transmission:
Though the nature of infection is not so clear yet it is present in the saliva of the patient. It is transmitted to healthy persons in the droplets produced while sneezing, coughing or speaking. Outside the body the virus does’ not remain active for long.
The disease is found in all countries of the world. It is very common in children in the age group of 5 to 15 years and is rare in infants below 9 months as well as person above 40 years. As a rule one attack gives immunity- for .life but second attacks may occur.
The incubation period is from 8-to 30 days, usually it is about a fortnight.
The symptom that is usually noticed is the swelling of one or both the parotid glands in front and below the ears. In early stage the patient complains of pain and stiffness’ on opening the mouth before swelling. The swelling is bard and painful on pressure and increases in size for three days and subsides after a week or ten days.
Mumps is an anile disease and practically all cases recover. In severe cases, there may be fever headache and pain in body which lasts from 3 to 5 days it may affect testes causing sterility or infertility which is very rare.
Live virus vaccines are now being widely employed particularly in U.S.A. and U.S.S.R There is no evident clinical reaction to the vaccine either in adults or in children. But India such type of vaccine is not in practice till today.
There is no specific treatment for Mumps. If the swelling is very painful hot fomentations may be applied or the part should be painted with glycerin of belladonna.
A simple mouth wash with boric acid and water may be used to keep the mouth as sweet as possible. Liquid diet should be given to the patient in early stage as the disease is infectious, 6 days before the onset of symptoms and 13 days thereafter, with a long and variable incubation period the control is very difficult.
However, cases should be isolated till the glands subside. All the articles used by the patient should be disinfected properly.