It is a very contagious infection which can spread through tiny drops of fluid from the mouth and nose of an infected person. Staying in close proximity with an infected person, who may be suffering from severe bouts of coughing and sneezing, also puts everyone at risk.
The MMR vaccine is given to protect infants from measles, mumps, and rubella has reduced the instances of mumps greatly in infants in today’s times.
Symptoms generally develop 14 to 25 days after the infection is contracted. Some of the common symptoms that mumps throw up are:
- High fever coupled with a headache and loss of appetite
- Swelling and pain in the parotid glands; the pain gets worse when the child swallows, talks, chews, or drinks acidic juices
- Swelling may also be noticed under the tongue, under the jaw, or all the way down to the front of the chest
- Stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting
- Drowsiness and convulsions
- Mild abdominal pain and the feeling of tiredness
- A cough or a runny nose
In severe cases, it can lead to inflammation and swelling of the brain and other organs. Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) are also rare complications of mumps.
Mumps is a viral infection and cannot be treated with antibiotics. But nevertheless, a doctor’s help must be sought when the symptoms show up. Medicines to keep the pain at bay and the fever under control must be administered, to stop complications from arising. Give fluids to your baby to stop dehydration, and also, isolate them so that the disease does not spread.