Mumps are the epidemic parotitis which refer to a virus infection of the salivary glands, gonads and occasionally other parts of the body. It is a contagious disease that occurs most frequently in children and young persons between the ages of five and fifteen years. The disease spreads from children to children in schools. Babies are immune from this disease. Most persons have mumps only once in their lives, but one person in ten may have a second attack.
The pain is first felt under one ear with stiffness of the neck and jaw.
There is a slight fever which subsides in three or four days.
The swelling appears first under one jaw and then extends under the other jaw.
The gland becomes tender on pressure.
On account of the pressure of the swelling, mastication and swallowing becomes difficult.
If the disease occurs after puberty, the testicles may be affected. The ovary may be infected in females. In males, the testicles are usually swollen.
If the disease spreads to the testicles, the swelling and pain are very considerable, there is a high fever, and the patient may become depressed and confused. Please see Orchitis for more information and natural remedies.
Mumps can also lead to meningitis (inflammation of the soft membranes of the brain) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain ) with delirium, severe headache and other signs of irritation of the meninges, or it may spread to the pancreas, when the symptoms include pain in the abdomen and loss of appetite. The patient may vomit.
Mumps are caused by a virus which attacks the salivary glands of the mouth , particularly the parotid glands located on each side of the face just below and in front of the ear. The infecting organism is a paramyxovirus.
After a person is exposed to a case of the mumps, it takes about two weeks for the disease to appear.
The patient should be put in bed for several days until the temperature returns to normal. They should be kept on a diet of orange juice diluted with warm water on a 50 : 50 basis for a few days.
If the orange juice does not suit, the juices of other fruits such as mosambi, apple, pineapple, grapes, or vegetables like carrot should be given.
Hot and cold fomentations should be applied every two hours during the day for about 10 minutes and should consist of two or three hot applications, followed by a cold one.
A soft scarf around the cheeks may be gently tied at the top of the head to give some relief from the swelling.
The mouth should be cleaned with an antiseptic wash. Aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar or bicarbonate of soda, diluted in warm, water are good choices.
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