Mumps – Causes-Symptoms and Treatment

Mumps Definition: Mumps is an acute, contagious, viral illness characterized by painful enlargement of the parotid glands, just below and in front of the ear, and at times, the salivary glands under the jaw and sometimes of the pancreas, ovaries, or testes.

Together with the likes of measles and chickenpox , mumps was once considered one of the inevitable infectious diseases of childhood. This disease, mainly affecting children, can be prevented by vaccination.

Mumps is characterized by a painful swelling of both cheeks. In some cases, the swelling may occur in only one cheek, or there may be no swelling at all. The word “mumps” comes from an old English word meaning lumps or bumps in the cheeks.

Causes of mumps:

  • Mumps is caused by a mumps virus, an RNA virus of the paramyxovirus family of viruses. It spreads from person to person as well as through contact with contaminated items and surfaces.
  • Once the mumps virus enters the body, it passes into the bloodstream and can spread to many different glands and to the brain.
  • Mumps occurs most often in children ages two through twelve, although unvaccinated adults are also susceptible.
  • People with mumps are contagious for about a week before and two weeks after the onset of symptoms, which occurs about two to three weeks after exposure to the mumps virus.
  • Mumps is mainly caused by a virus. The incubation period is from 16-18 days, ranging from 12-25 days after exposure. The period when someone is most infectious to others is from 1-2 days before and 5 days after the onset of swelling in the glands.
  • The chances of getting the disease are greater if you have never received the mumps vaccine. Once you have had mumps you will develop an immunity to it and will not get it again.
  • Mumps is spread through direct contact with saliva, e.g. kissing or sharing objects contaminated with infected saliva (e.g. cups, cutlery). The mumps virus is also present in nasal and throat discharge.

Other common causes of mumps includes:

  • Droplets from coughs & sneezes
  • Lack of immunization

Symptoms of Mumps:

The symptoms and signs of mumps are:

  • The first symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after exposure. It begins with fever and pain upon opening the mouth
  • About 1/3 of people have no symptoms.
  • Others can have swollen glands (swollen cheeks), headache, fever, and earache.
  • Sore muscles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Earache that is aggravated by chewing
  • In men and adolescent boys, swelling in one or both testes
  • Aversion to light, lethargy, and a stiff neck
  • Upper abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
  • Lower abdominal pain in women
  • Temperature is moderately high, usually lasting for 3-4 days.
  • Eating or drinking acidic or citric foods causes much discomfort.
  • Other symptoms may include testicular pain (in males), seizures, stiff neck, and difficulty swallowing.
  • not feeling well
  • The mouth may feel dry.
  • You may feel tired and off your food for a few days.

Home remedies for mumps:

Some important home remedies for mumps includes:

Don’t be tart: Avoid giving your child citrus fruits or juices, or any other food that is high in acid, when he or she is suffering from mumps.

Ginger powder: A paste made with dry ginger powder and water is applied on the visibly swollen parts.

Mullein tea: Apply a cloth soaked in mullein tea to affected areas to help with swelling.

Herbal treatment for mumps:

Here are some important herbal treatment for mumps:

Indian Aloe: The use of the herb Indian aloe is a wellknown remedy in the indigenous system of medicine for any inflamed and painful part of the body.

Asparagus: The seeds of asparagus are valuable in mumps. These seeds, combined with an equal proportion of fenugreek (methi) seeds, should be ground together to the consistency of a paste. This paste can be applied over the swellings.

Herbs: An acute attack can be managed using the mixture of concentrated extracts of the herbs Rosehips, Hypericum, Phytolacca, Fennel and Chamomile with the Bach Flower Rescue Remedy. This is taken at a dose rate of 15 drops three times daily in water and continued for 6 to 8 weeks.