Are you concerned that your child may contract mumps? First, we have to find out what mumps is!
Mumps is a viral infection that affects the parotid glands, which are located slightly below and in front of the ears. If a child has contracted mumps, these glands can swell causing discomfort. Although rare, mumps can potentially cause hearing loss, meningitis, encephalitis and orchitis (in males).
Mumps was common in the United States until a mumps vaccination became available. After the vaccination, health officials saw the number of cases drop significantly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of mumps usually appear within two weeks of exposure to the virus. Flu-like symptoms may be the first to appear, including:
- body aches
- loss of appetite
- low-grade fever
A high fever (up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit) and swelling of the salivary glands follow over the next few days. The glands may not all swell initially. More commonly, they swell and become painful. The mumps virus is most contagious to another person from the time you come into contact with the virus to when your parotid glands swell.
There isn’t a course of treatment for mumps, so applying warm or cold packs to the swollen glands that are tender can be helpful. Additionally, health professionals encourage children between the ages of 12 through 15 months of age to receive their first measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and their second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.
Although mumps is no longer very common in the United States. From year to year, mumps cases can range from roughly a couple hundred to a couple thousand. For more information on how to track mumps outbreaks state, you can visit the CDC site – https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/outbreaks.html
If you are interested in making an appointment with a pediatrician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, you can schedule an appointment at our Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.