Doctor's Notes on Mumps
Mumps is a viral disease, usually seen in children. The disease is more severe in adults. With mumps, your salivary glands (the parotid glands) located below and in front of each ear, swell. The virus is spread by direct contact with an infected person's sneeze or cough. With nearly universal immunization in childhood, there are fewer than 1,000 cases of mumps in the U.S. in a typical year.
Early symptoms of the mumps are uncommon and may include fever, loss of appetite, achiness, and headache. Temperature is moderately high, usually lasting for three to four days. Once the illness progresses, swelling of the glands under and in front of the ear usually starts on one side and then progresses to the other side rapidly. Swelling may last from seven to 10 days. Eating or drinking acidic or citric foods causes discomfort.
Other symptoms of the mumps may include
What Is the Treatment for the Mumps?
There are currently no medications available to treat the mumps virus so the treatment is focused on relieving symptoms until the body’s immune system fights off the infection. Antibiotics do not help. There is a vaccine available to prevent mumps that is usually given during childhood, with a booster given in adolescence. The mumps infection usually passes within a week to 10 days. Symptomatic home care is all that is usually needed.
Home treatment for the mumps includes:
- Getting plenty of rest and sleep
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) can be used
- Drinking plenty of fluids but avoid alcohol and acidic juices
- Cold foods and drinks such as popsicles and milkshakes can be used to soothe the throat
- Soft or chopped foods that need less chewing can be easier on the swollen glands
If symptoms suddenly worsen with trouble breathing or swallowing, or shortness of breath, seek medical care.
Must Read Articles:
Childhood Immunization Schedule and ChartVaccinations are some of the most important tools available for preventing disease. Most children get all their shots during childhood. Parents should consult their doctors about which vaccines their children should have and when. Keep track of your children's immunizations yourself.
How Do Mumps Start?Mumps is a viral illness characterized by the swelling of the salivary glands (the parotid glands) in front of the ears and above the jaw.
Immunization Schedule, AdultsAt least 45,000 adults in the United States die of complications of influenza, pneumococcal infections, and hepatitis B each year. Adults need the following vaccines: chickenpox, hepatitis B, MMR, Td/Tdap, flu, shingles, and pneumococcal.
Immunizations and Antibiotics for Overseas TravelMost immunizations are not required under International Health Requirements but are recommended. Anyone lacking certain region- or country-specific immunizations may be denied entry into or exit from a country.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.