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Mumps is an acute and highly contagious viral illness that usually occurs in childhood. Spread by airborne droplets from the upper respiratory tract, the disease usually takes two to three weeks to appear. Cases of mumps in the US have declined dramatically with the introduction of the mumps vaccine.
Many children have no or very mild symptoms. The following are the most common symptoms of mumps. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of mumps may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
Complications of mumps occur more frequently among adults than children, and may include the following:
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, your child's physician may also take a saliva and/or urinary culture to confirm the diagnosis.
Specific treatment for mumps will be determined by your child's physician based on:
Treatment is usually limited to pain relievers and plenty of fluids. Sometimes, bed rest is necessary the first few days. Children should stay out of school until symptoms have subsided.
Childhood vaccinations against mumps (usually in combination with the measles and rubella) provides immunity for most people. People who have had mumps are immune for life.
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