DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mumps. Close-up of an inflamed parotid gland in a young child with mumps (infectious parotiditis). Mumps is an acute viral infection that mostly affects children. The virus is spread by airborne droplets and has an incubation period of 2-3 weeks. The main symptom is inflammation of one or both of the parotid glands, situated just inside the angle of the jaw. Many children feel only slightly unwell but in some cases there may be difficulty chewing, painful swallowing, fever and headache. Occasional complications are meningitis, pancreatitis and orchitis (inflammation of the testis). There is no specific treatment.
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