The Health department has issued an alert against mumps in Alappuzha in the wake of a rise in the number of patients.
District Medical Officer Jamuna Varghese said that mumps cases had mostly been reported among children in the district. Though Mumps most commonly affects children, adolescents and adults could also get the disease, Dr. Varghese said.
Mumps, according to officials, is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It mostly causes the parotid salivary glands on one or both sides of the face to swell and may be tender or painful. Apart from swollen glands, some of the common symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, difficulty chewing, muscle aches and tiredness. Those with the symptoms should seek medical treatment without delay.
Officials urged parents and teachers to watch out for symptoms in children. The infection could affect the brain, testicles, ovaries, and pancreas gland. If untreated, the disease could lead to encephalitis, loss of hearing and infertility.
The disease normally spreads from a patient just before the swelling of the glands and four to six days after the appearance of swelling. As mumps spread easily through coughing and sneezing, infected people should limit their contact with other people. “The patients should take complete rest until they make a full recovery. Children with mumps should not go to school. The patients should drink plenty of water,” said Dr. Varghese, adding that most people with mumps fully recover within two weeks.