mumps Expert says mumps is an air-borne disease prevalent in toddlers

A Lecturer and Consultant Paediatrician charged mothers to be more conscious of what their infants pick up from the ground to eat.

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Mumps, a viral disease, has been identified as the most contagious disease in infants between 1 to 3-years-old.

Dr Babatunde Ogunbosi, a Lecturer and Consultant Paediatrician at the Infectious Diseases Unit, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Sunday.

Ogunbosi charged mothers to be more conscious of what their infants pick up from the ground to eat, adding that this stage makes the children prone to the virus causing mumps attack.

The consultant said mumps is an air-borne disease caused by the virus, “paramyxo” and could travel in the air through coughs and sneezes.

He added that the virus may be found on surfaces such as door handles or it could be contacted from cups, cutlery, bowls or plates.

“Children within the age group of 1 to 3 years are at risk of mumps in their various schools and homes.

“The most common symptom of mumps is swollen salivary glands (parotid) in the neck; the swelling can be on one or both sides of the neck.

“Mumps can be prevented in majority of cases through the routine MMR (Vaccines for mumps) vaccination in childhood or later in life.

“Mumps are contagious, usually before symptom are noticed and has an incubation period of 7 to 18 days after exposure.

“The most common symptoms in infants and toddlers are swellings on the neck, pain and discomfort from the swelling, fever, head-ache, dry mouth, joint aches and general malaise.

“Ear pain may be felt by the child when chewing and a sour taste in the mouth may be experienced and swallowing may be difficult,” he said.

Ogunbosi explained that mumps, if not treated early, could result in complications like meningitis and painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries.

He said that in rare cases, neurological damage, hearing loss, pancreatitis and even death may occur.

The consultant added that most infected children with no complications get better and have no further side effects.

He said that the diagnosis of mumps could be done from the symptoms a patient has, especially the swollen glands.

“Blood, urine or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests may be taken to confirm the diagnosis,” he said.

The paediatrician explained that the treatment for mumps include the use of age-appropriate painkillers to relieve the symptoms.

He also suggested a cold compress, such as placing a moist flannel on the swollen glands.

Ogunbosi also recommended resting, drinking of plenty fluids as well as having food that do not need to be chewed.

He advised that any child with mumps should be kept away from school to prevent the spread, until five days after symptoms begin.

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