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Mumps is a contagious viral disease once common in childhood and now practically eradicated thanks to long-term immunization conferred at about 15 months of age. Although immunization has decreased the incidence of mumps by as much as 99% since the late 1960s, the disease continues to occur in small clusters. It also continues to be a significant threat in third world countries.
Mumps affects the salivary glands particularly the parotid glands which are located on the face, jaw and under the ears. Mumps are spread from one person to another by salivary droplets and close contact. The incubation period (time between exposure and onset of symptoms) lasts from 2 to 3 weeks averaging about 18 days.
What are the symptoms of mumps?
Are there any complications?
What is the treatment for mumps?
There is no specific treatment for a case of the mumps. Heat and/or ice applications to the swollen glands to relieve pain and a diet which does not require chewing is the usual treatment. It has been reported that acidic foods such as fruit juice, coffee and yogurt ingested during the painful stage can increase the pain. Acetaminophen can be administered for further pain relief as well as salt water gargles.