Mumps is a highly infectious disease that is spread by paramyxovirus. The virus can spread to the air through coughing and sneezing or on surfaces that people touch such as handles of doors, utensils, cutlery, plates and bowls.
A common symptom of mumps is a swollen salivary gland or parotid glands found in the neck and sometimes. The swelling can affect one or both sides of the neck.
Symptom of mumps
- Mumps are most contagious before the symptoms can be noticed.
- The incubation period of mumps is usually from 7-18 days but an average is about 10 days after exposure.
- The neck is swollen and sore
- Headache and fever
- Feeling sick
- Aches in the joints
- Dry mouth
- General malaise
- Pain in the ear can be experienced especially when chewing.
- Sour taste in the mouth and difficulty swallowing
- Isolate the affected person to prevent transferring the disease to other people.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen to lessen the discomfort and pain felt on the ear, face or jaw.
- Apply a warm or cold compress on the affected area to lessen the swelling and pain. A moist flannel can be used to relieve the pain caused by swelling glands.
- Wear an athlettic support if there is any pain in the groin. Ice packs or bags of frozen vegetables such as peas can be placed on the affected area to lessen the pain and swelling.
- Drink plenty of fluids and encourage the individual to sip on some soups. Drinking plenty of water can keep the body well-hydrated.
- Eat foods that do need a lot of chewing such as oatmeal, mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs.
- Avoid acidic beverages such as fruit juices to prevent further irritation of the already swollen glands.
- Peel one side of a fresh aloe vera leaf and spread some turmeric powder over it and apply on the swollen area similar to a bandage. Remove the coating after 20 minutes. Aloe vera works by reducing the swelling of the affected area.
- One way to prevent the spread of the virus is to keep the affected person isolated by staying away from school or work for at least 5 days after the symptoms shows up.
- Maintain proper hygiene by proper washing of hands and using a tissue to cover the mouth when sneezing.
- If a person has already acquired mumps as a child, it provides lifelong immunity to the disease.