According to Hamirpur CMO Dr. RK Agnihotri, mumps is rapidly spreading throughout the district and has affected up to 35 children aged 5–10 in various schools in the town. Mumps is an infectious disease, and the doctor has advised people not to self-medicate or treat themselves and to seek medical attention as soon as symptoms appear. Mumps cases were reported in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana in December of last year.
Mumps is a viral infection caused by the mumps virus, a member of the paramyxovirus family. It primarily affects the salivary glands, causing swelling and inflammation, particularly the parotid glands (found just below and in front of the ears). Other organs that may be affected include the pancreas, testes, ovaries, and central nervous system.
Mumps symptoms typically include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and salivary gland swelling and tenderness, which can cause a distinctive “chipmunk cheek” appearance. Mumps is highly contagious, spreading via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or comes into direct contact with contaminated surfaces.
Complications of mumps
Mumps complications are uncommon, but they can cause inflammation in other organs such as the brain (encephalitis), ovaries, testes, and pancreas. Mumps infection during pregnancy may also be harmful to the developing foetus. If someone suspects they have mumps or is experiencing symptoms, they should seek medical attention for a diagnosis and proper treatment.
How is it treated?
There are no specific antiviral treatments for mumps. The primary goal of management is usually to alleviate symptoms and avoid complications. Rest, hydration, and over-the-counter pain relievers can all help reduce discomfort and fever. Applying cold or warm compresses to swollen glands may help. Patients are advised to isolate themselves to avoid spreading the virus. Vaccination is the most effective preventive measure, especially the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Seeking medical advice for a correct diagnosis and symptom management is critical. Complications are uncommon but may necessitate specialised care. Individuals with mumps should follow the advice of their healthcare providers to ensure a full recovery.
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