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Mumps is an inflammation of the salivary glands on the side of the face (parotid) due to a viral infection. This condition is characterized by swelling on the side of the face under the ear. Mumps is contagious and generally affects children aged 5–9 years
Parotid gland, which is located under the ear, functions to produce saliva. Mumps occurs when the parotid gland becomes inflamed due to infection with a virus from the paramyxovirus group. The virus can easily spread to other people through splashes of saliva or saliva coming out of the mouth or nose.
The Cause of Mumps
Mumps is caused by a viral infection from the paramyxovirus group. This virus can enter the human body and then will settle, multiply, and cause inflammation and swelling of the parotid gland.
The spread of this virus can easily occur when:
- Inhaling droplets of mucus when the sufferer coughs, sneezes, and talks
- Making direct contact with sufferers, for example kissing
- Touching objects that are around the patient, then touching the nose and mouth without washing hands first
- Sharing eating and drinking utensils with sufferers
There are several factors that can increase a person's risk of getting mumps, namely:
- Have not received the MMR vaccine to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella
- 2–12 years old
- Have a weak immune system, for example due to suffering from HIV/AIDS, using corticosteroid drugs in the long term, or being on chemotherapy treatment
- Living or traveling to an area that has a lot of mumps cases
Mumps symptoms will usually appear 12-25 days after being infected with the virus. Mumps is characterized by swelling of the parotid gland and symptoms of an infectious disease.
The following are some of the symptoms that will occur when mumps occurs:
- Cheek swelling, can be only one side or both sides, due to swelling of the parotid gland
- Pain when chewing or swallowing food
- Fever up to 39°C
- Dry mouth
- Joint pain
- stomach pain
- Easy to get tired
- Lost appetite
However, in some patients, the symptoms of mumps may be milder or resemble the symptoms of a cold. Some sufferers do not even experience any symptoms.
When to see a doctor
Consult a doctor if you or your child experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. Early treatment can prevent complications.
You need to see a doctor immediately if you or your child has more serious symptoms, such as:
- Red eyes
- Neck feels stiff
- Great headache
- Extremely heavy drowsiness
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
The doctor will ask questions about the patient's symptoms, the patient's medical history and immunizations, as well as the presence or absence of mumps risk factors, such as a history of interactions with mumps sufferers or travel to areas that have mumps cases.
After that, the doctor will examine the patient's swollen cheek or neck, and see the condition of the patient's throat and tonsils.
To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will carry out supporting examinations in the form of:
- Swab test on the inside of the cheek (buccal swab), to detect the type of microorganism that causes mumps
- Blood test, to detect viral infection in the blood
- Urine test, to confirm and detect the spread of infection to the urinary tract
If the patient's immune system is good, mumps can recover on its own within 1-2 weeks. Some ways that can be done to relieve complaints and symptoms that arise when suffering from mumps are:
- Enough sleep and rest
- Drink more water
- Compress the swollen area with warm or cold water to relieve pain
- Eat soft food so you don't have to chew too much
- Take fever and pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
Keep in mind, do not give aspirin to people with mumps, because it can actually trigger Reye's syndrome, a dangerous disease that can cause liver failure, brain swelling, and even death.
In addition to attacking the parotid gland, the virus that causes mumps can also spread and infect other parts of the body. This spread can cause several complications, such as:
- Inflammation of the testicles (orchitis)
- Inflammation of the mammary glands (mastitis)
- Swelling of the ovaries or ovaries (oophoritis)
- Inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
- Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
- Acute pancreatitis
In some patients, mumps can also cause deafness, heart problems, and miscarriage, but these complications are very rare.
Mumps can be prevented by giving children MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) immunizations. The MMR vaccine protects the body from measles, mumps, and rubella.
This vaccine needs to be given to children twice, namely when the child is 18 months old and when the child is 5-7 years old. However, if the first immunization has not been carried out by 18 months of age, the first vaccine can still be given until the child is 3 years old.
If it has not been done in childhood, the MMR vaccine can still be given at an adult age. The MMR vaccine for adults is recommended for people who are at high risk of exposure to the virus that causes mumps.
People who suffer from compromised immune systems or are allergic to ingredients contained in the vaccine, such as gelatin or neomycin, are not recommended to undergo MMR immunization.
In addition, the prevention of mumps can also be done in the following ways:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water
- Do not share toiletries or eating with sufferers
- Applying cough etiquette, such as covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing
Mumps sufferers are also advised to stay at home for at least 5 days after the first symptoms appear. This is to prevent the transmission of mumps to other people.