Printed and Distributed by The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited
for the Benefit of its Policyholders
Mumps is a very infectious disease, affecting those glands which produce the saliva.
Even before the first symptoms appear the infection may be present, and may be passed on to others. Most cases occur in children between the ages of 5 and 15, although grown people are sometimes attacked. It is very rare in infants. One attack generally gives immunity.
Although mumps is a mild disease, it should never be neglected. Always call in the Doctor. He is the only one who can tell whether the attack is simple or whether there are complications (that is, whether other organs of the body are also affected through it). Generally speaking, there are no complications, but one cannot tell, and it is well to be sure, for serious trouble may be caused by these “complications.” Deafness is but one of many others.
The period between the time the child contracts the disease and the appearance of the first symptoms is usually about fourteen days. Towards the end of this period the child will be inI_
dined to be restless and irritable, and will complain of feeling unwell.
Feverishness and a distinct pain on swallowing are then shown, and after some hours have passed a swelling will be distinctly noticed in the hollow below the ear (earache is often present before the swelling shows). This swelling extends forward and downward until all the neck thereabouts is affected. The gland on the opposite side rarely escapes, and in most cases is affected within three days of the onset of the disease. The swelling does not go down for from seven to ten days.
While the swelling exists there is much tenderness to touch, but there is little pain except on moving the jaws. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to open the mouth, and swallowing is always difficult and painful. It is very common to find ringing in the ears and earache present.
First and foremost call the Doctor for the reason stated before. There is no way of shortening the duration of the disease, therefore it must take its course. The child should be kept warm, so bed is the best place. The child should be kept in a separate room. In mild cases it is sufficient to cover up the swelling with cotton wool and a bandage. If the swollen glands are painful cotton wool or flannel warmed and greased with a simple ointment, such as cold cream, will give a sense of comfort.
The sufferer should be kept in bed for a week or ten days, and when allowed to go about should be warmly clad and protected from chills.
The food given the patient should be chiefly fluid, and should therefore be confined to milk, broths and beef jellies. Milk requires to be diluted in illness (even for older children) as a rule, so that the formation of hard curds in the stomach may be prevented. It is better to give scalded milk than raw.
Milk may be diluted by adding about one-third either of water, soda water, lime water, barley water, oatmeal water or rice water.
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