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Caution for mumps disease
What is mumps?
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus that passes from one person to another through saliva, nasal secretions, and close personal contact.
The condition primarily affects the salivary glands. These glands are responsible for producing saliva. There are three sets of salivary glands: on each side of your face, located behind and below your ears. The hallmark symptom of mumps is swelling of the salivary glands.
What are the symptoms of mumps?
- body aches
- loss of appetite
- low-grade fever
A high fever of 103°F (39°C) and swelling of the salivary glands follow over the next few days. The glands may not all swell at once. More commonly, they swell and become painful periodically. You are most likely to pass the mumps virus to another person from the time you come into contact with the virus to when your parotid glands swell.
What is the treatment for mumps?
Because mumps is a virus, it doesn’t respond to antibiotics or other medications. However, you can treat the symptoms to make yourself more comfortable while you’re sick. These include:
- Rest when you feel weak or tired.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, to bring down your fever.
- Soothe swollen glands by applying ice packs.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration due to fever.
- Eat a soft diet of soup, yogurt, and other foods that aren’t hard to chew (chewing may be painful when your glands are swollen).
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages that may cause more pain in your salivary glands.
Mumps usually runs its course in a couple of weeks. Most people who get mumps can’t contract the disease a second time. Having the virus once protects you against becoming infected again.
How can I prevent mumps?
Vaccination can prevent mumps. Most infants and children receive a vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) at the same time. The first MMR shot is generally given between the ages of 12 and 15 months at a routine well-child visit. A second vaccination is necessary for school-aged children between 4 and 6 years old. With two doses, the mumps vaccine is approximately 88 percent effective. The rate of effectiveness of only one dose is about 78 percent.
However, people who have compromised immune systems, are allergic to gelatin or neomycin, or are pregnant, shouldn’t receive the MMR vaccine. Consult your family doctor about an immunization schedule for you and your children.
At any point your child is unwell, please seek medical consultation and inform the school. Take plenty of rest as recommended by doctor, drink sufficient water and eat healthy. Let's look out for one another. Take care.
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