If you suspect that your child has mumps, please give us a call to make an appointment to bring them in to see a GP. The doctor will examine your child & discuss their symptoms with you in order to make a diagnosis. In some cases, testing will be recommended. If any medication is required, you will be given a prescription before you leave the clinic. Where necessary, referrals are included in the cost of your consultation.
Mumps has a long incubation period, which means that symptoms will not show up until 2-3 weeks after becoming infected with the virus. It is more common in children & young adults who have not been vaccinated.
The main symptom of mumps is a swollen & painful parotid gland, on one or both sides of the face. This is a salivary gland, one located just in front of the ears, & two more along the jawline. With the mumps virus these glands can swell up very noticeably & visibly, causing the infected person to have a temporarily swollen & misshapen face shape. In a third of cases, mumps has no symptoms at all.
Other symptoms of mumps include:
fever (temperature of 38C or higher
painful chewing or swallowing
sore or aching muscles
lack of appetite
Mumps is not usually a serious condition, & cases will eventually clear up on their own. Nonetheless, it is important that you make an appointment to see a GP if you think your child has mumps, because it shares symptoms with some more serious infections (such as glandular fever & tonsillitis), & it is important to get a correct diagnosis. Other possible conditions that could have symptoms in common with mumps are blocked salivary glands, & other viral infections.
There is no cure for mumps, & the infection usually passes within a week or two. Serious complications resulting from mumps are rare, but the virus can lead to viral meningitis (swelling of the brain), testicular swelling (orchitis) or ovarian inflammation (oophoritis) in post-puberty patients. It can also cause hearing loss & heart problems.
Mumps is highly contagious, especially in the first week or so after symptoms first appear. Once you’ve been infected with the mumps virus, you will have lifelong immunity.