Mumps is a communicable virus disease, that usually attacks one or both parotid glands located near the angle of the jaw and it commonly occurs between 5 and 15 years of age.
The incubation period, which is the period between acquiring the infection and the first symptoms, is usually three weeks. One attack gives immunity.
There is pain on opening the mouth or chewing, a moderate degree of fever, loss of appetite, headache and body pain.
Both sides of the face may swell at the same time or there may be a gap of a few days between one side and the other. The swelling lasts about 6-7 days.
It can affect the testicles in boys and ovaries in girls which can result in sterility. This is rare before puberty, and so it is best if children acquire the disease at a younger age.
Treatment consists of bed-rest during fever, mouth-washes to keep the mouth clean and aspirin for fever and pain.
Mumps can now be prevented by immunizing the child with mumps vaccine, but it is not yet available in India.