MUMPS. Inflammation of the parotid glands. It is an infectious disease, which often occurs epidemically, especially in spring and autumn, principally affecting children and young persons. With slight fever and in significant disturbances of the general health, a doughy swelling develops in front of and under the ear, extending forward to the lower eyelid, and downward to the throat. The lobe of the ear is raised and stands out. Pain is experienced upon opening the mouth. Usually both parotid glands are affected, either simultaneously or successively (see Plates XVIII. 5, and 1. 1). The face is peculiarly deformed by the affection, creating an almost comical impression. :1s a rule the inflammation recedes in the course of a week. Suppuration or hardening seldom occurs. In exceptional cases (during a severe epidemic) the inflammation may extend also to the testicles, to the female breasts, to the ear (causing deafness), and to other parts.
Mumps usually runs a favourable course of short duration. Isolation of the patients is rarely resorted to ; but it is advisable to protect all children as much as possible from infection. The inflammation furnishes few points as to treatment. The physician will alleviate the existing disturbances, and watch for the appearance of possible secondary affections. If suppuration sets in, there is danger that the pus perforate into the auditory canal and middle car, causing permanent disturbances of hearing. It is best, therefore, to have a physician drain the pus as early as possible. Mumps occurs not only as an independent disease, but also as a complication of other affections (typhoid fever, smallpox, blood-poisoning, etc.). In these cases it is a more serious affection.