What are the symptoms of mumps?
The symptoms of mumps can range from mild to severe. Different people experience the condition in different ways. When the symptoms and signs develop, they tend to appear roughly between two and three weeks’ post exposure.
Symptoms typically include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Painful swallowing or chewing
- Painful and swollen salivary glands (behind and below the ears) – can be on one or both sides of the face
- Loss of appetite
As stated, the primary and hallmark symptom of mumps is the swelling of the parotid glands, this is known as parotitis. Parotitis results in the cheeks looking ‘puffy’ and swollen. In actual fact, the word mumps was once used an expression for bumps or lumps in the cheeks.
When to see a doctor
It is advised that you immediately consult with your doctor should you suspect that you or your child has mumps. It is best to phone your doctor beforehand so as to ensure that you see him or her right away and not wait in the waiting room and risk possibly infecting others.
Due to the vaccine for mumps being introduced and implemented for a number of years now, mumps is seen as an illness that is uncommon. With this in mind, it may be possible that similar symptoms and signs are the results of another condition.
Salivary glands that are swollen as well as a fever may well be caused by inflamed tonsils and therefore the cause of the symptoms may be tonsillitis. There are a number of different illnesses that may also result in inflamed glands, therefore, it is advised that you seek medical attention so as to ensure an accurate diagnosis.