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MUMPS (syn. Cynanche parotidaea, parotitis; also, " The Branks "), a specific infectious disease characterized by inflammatory swelling of the parotid and other salivary glands, frequently occurring as an epidemic, and affecting mostly young persons. The name " mumps " (O. Eng. " to mump," meaning to sulk) originated, no doubt, in the patient's appearance. The disease generally sets in with symptoms of a cold or catarrh accompanied with slight febrile disturbance; but soon the nature of the ailment is announced by the occurrence of swelling and stiffening in the region of the parotid gland in front of the ear. The swelling speedily increases in size and spreads downwards towards the neck and under the jaw, involving the numerous glands in that locality. The effect is to produce much disfigurement, which becomes still greater should the inflammation spread, as often happens, to the glands on the other side of the face and neck. Pain is present in the swollen parts, but it is seldom severe, nor is there much redness or any tendency to suppuration. There is, however, considerable interference with the acts of mastication and swallowing. After continuing for four or five days the swelling and otht r symptoms abate, and the parts are soon restored to their normal condition. During the period of convalescence there occasionally occur some swelling and tenderness m other glands, such as the testicles in males (orchitis), and the mammae or ovaries ( oopheritis) in females, and possibly involvement of the pancreas, but these are of short duration and usually of no serious significance. Mumps is in general a mild disease, and requires little treatment beyond a gentle laxative, the application of warm fomentations to the swollen and painful parts, the use of soft food, and rest.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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