Pediatricians treat mumps in children. Mumps is a viral disease caused by a paramyxovirus known as the “mumps” virus. Very contagious, the disease manifests itself by inflammation of the salivary glands. The disease is most often mild in children but can be severe in adolescents and adults. To protect against mumps, the MMR vaccine is effective and well-tolerated. Infection gives you solid immunity: you only have the disease once in your life.

Causes of mumps

This disease is caused by a virus. The mumps virus preferentially lodges in:

  • Certain salivary glands (the parotids);
  • The pancreas;
  • The testicles;
  • The nervous system.

Man is the only reservoir of the virus: animals are not affected by the disease.

Symptoms of mumps

In almost a third of cases, the patient does not present any symptoms: the disease is said to be asymptomatic. Here are the signs that should be on the lookout for:

  • Parotitis (inflammation of the parotid gland) which causes painful swelling of the cheek, pushing the earlobe up and out. The face is deformed in the shape of a pear;
  • A mild fever and ear pain are frequently present. Localizations in other glands can occur before, during, or after salivary involvement;
  • Orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) which is not seen in mumps until after puberty. It should be suspected in the presence of high fever and abdominal pain. Most often on one side, it affects both testicles in a quarter of cases;
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) with vomiting and abdominal pain is possible.
  • Neurological localizations which often manifest themselves in the form of meningitis (most often without clinical signs), more rarely of encephalitis. There is also a (rare) possibility of damage to the cranial nerves with permanent deafness.

Treatment of mumps from pediatricians

Mumps is caused by a virus, so antibiotics are unnecessary. In mild cases, no particular treatment is to be prescribed, except to treat the fever or the pain. The drug treatment can be adapted according to the diagnosis:

  • In case of parotitis: oral care, analgesics, and antipyretics;
  • In the case of orchitis: bed rest, wearing of a jockstrap, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on medical prescription;
  • In the case of pancreatitis: analgesics, antiemetics (against nausea and vomiting). Hospitalization is sometimes necessary;
  • In the case of meningitis: rest, analgesics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • In the event of illness, one must at all costs avoid the school or the nursery until clinical recovery.

Prevention of mumps

Given the possibility of complications that can be serious, systematic vaccination is justified in all children from the age of one year. It is a vaccine that is well tolerated and protective after a single injection. It is combined with the measles and rubella vaccine (MMR vaccine).

Due to the risk of testicular damage, boys will be revaccinated from the age of 11. Catch-ups are possible in adolescents and adults.

Contact Pediatricians in Gastonia NC

Mumps is a contagious infection, and in most cases, it is a mild infection. Prevention and treatment of mumps should be taken seriously as there is a risk of complications occurring.

You may need to consult your pediatrician when your child is infected with mumps.

Contact  Gastonia Pediatric Associates, your Gastonia area pediatricians, offers top-quality pediatric care.