Mumps is a very common viral infection, it produces a fever and swelling of the salivary glands, and therefore it is very easy to recognize. Usually it occurs in children and once they have had it they will never get it again as they have developed a natural immunity to it. It is required that children should be immunized against mumps before they start school if they are not already naturally immune. Mumps is only mildly contagious and even though it is usually only a childhood disease some adults and teenagers can contract it as well. In adults the swelling of the testes should be checked by your doctor as there is a very slight chance of it causing sterility. Symptoms include:
Swollen, inflamed glands just above the angle of the jaw and sometimes under the tongue
Secondary inflammation of the ovaries, pancreas or testes, this only occurs in adults and teenagers.
Mumps is caused by a virus which is transmitted through the air in droplets from a cough or a sneeze, or by direct contact. It then enters the body through the respiratory tract or mouth and then starts to affect the gland tissues.
Your child should eat light foods such as vegetables and fruit and soup and should try and avoid dairy products and citrus juices.
Confining your child to bed is not required, but you should try keep him quiet, an ice pack or heating pad applied to the swelling may ease the pain. A tea made from apple juice and cloves can help to alleviate the painful swallowing.
The immune system is strengthened by fighting the illness, therefore many practitioners of alternative medicine prefer a healthy child to contract mumps than to be immunized. You should consult your child’s doctor though.
When to seek further professional advice
As soon as you suspect that your child has mumps, or if he has any other symptom as well. Any adult or teenage male has mumps with swollen testes.
There are no herbs that treat mumps specifically, but to reduce the swelling try use Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) or cleavers (Galium aparine). A professional should be consulted for appropriate dosages whenever using homeopathic remedies. He will probably recommend bryonia, belladonna or phytolacca.
Your doctor should be consulted, so as to make sure your child is suffering from mumps and to make sure the child does not go to school until all the symptoms have cleared.
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