Thanks to the MMR/MMRV vaccine, mumps is not common in Australia, but outbreaks still occur, and serious complications such as meningitis, hepatitis, encephalitis and myocarditis can follow. It’s also highly contagious, and is carried in the urine as well as via sneezing and cough droplets.
Signs and symptoms
-Fever, headache, fatigue.
-Swelling of the salivary glands on one or both sides of the face (parotid glands). The parotid glands sit just in front of the ear.
when to seek medical advice
There is no specific treatment for mumps. You should see your GP if your child complains of pain in any area other than their face, as this can indicate inflammation in another organ. You should also contact your GP if your child’s fever is very high and they seem to be getting sicker, or they begin to complain of a headache, start vomiting, and cannot tolerate bright light. You can help your child stay comfortable by giving them paracetamol, cold compresses around the parotid glands, plenty of fluids, and easy to swallow soft foods like soup and mashed/pureed vegetables.
and how to maintain perspective!!
Mumps is quite uncommon in Australia, and of those who do become infected, one in three will not even have any symptoms. Ensuring your child receives their MMR and MMRV vaccinations at twelve months, eighteen months and again at four years will give them approximately 95% immunity from the virus. There is absolutely no link between autism and the MMR/ MMRV vaccines.