Mumps is a contagious viral infection of the parotid gland in the upper jaw, just below and in front of the ears and other salivary glands. Mumps usually occurs in children, but can be more serious in adults.
The primary symptoms are moderate to high fever with chills, and painful swelling of the parotid gland and other salivary glands with fatigue and loss of appetite.
In men past puberty, the main complication of mumps is painful inflammation of the testes which can, in rare cases, cause sterility. Meningoencephalitis, which resembles bacterial meningitis, is characterised by a headache, stiff neck, and, rarely, convulsions or a coma. Pancreatitis with nausea, vomiting, and pain in the abdomen sometimes occurs at the end of the first week of mumps, and gets completely better in about a week.
- Mercurius is the most common medicine used for mumps.
- Phytolacca is used to treat stony hard parotid glands with pain extending to on swallowing.
- Carbo vegetabils is used for mumps when exhaustion and bloating are prominent symptoms.
- Pulsatilla and Carbo vegetabilis are both used when mumps causes inflammation of the tests or breasts.
- Pulsatilla is appropriate when the child or adult is weepy and clingy with a lot of swelling in the testes or breasts.
- Less common medicines which help inflammation of the testes during or after mumps are Abrotanum and Jaborandi.
- Abrotannum is used to treat a large swollen parotid gland that goes down as the testes become swollen. It is given to irritable, cruel children with a failure to thrive.
- Jaborandi treats mumps with increased sweating and salivation, and parotid glands double their usual size. This medicine has been used to shorten the duration of the disease.
Self Care and Home Remedies
- East soft foods to reduce the need for chewing.
- Avoid spicy and sour foods and drinks, such as citrus fruit and other juices, which may cause pain by stimulating the salivary glands.
- Isolate the person with mumps to avoid spreading the infection to those who have not had it.
- Take Vitamin C, 500 mg two times daily for children four years or older.
- Use a carrot poultice to relieve swelling. Blend two to three carrots, place in a cloth or cheesecloth and apply under chin for two to eight hours.