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MBABANE – Is there an outbreak of mumps among children? One cannot help but ask this question as a massive number of children have been reportedly taken to various health centres across the country after being diagnoses with the virus.

One hospital that is reported to have recorded a huge number of children who were treated for the virus was Salvation Army situated at Msunduza, Mbabane.
According to information sourced from the internet, mumps is an extremely contagious viral infection of the salivary glands that most commonly affects children.

The most obvious symptom is swelling of the salivary glands, giving the patient a ‘hamster-like’ face. The affected salivary glands are called the parotid glands. Sometimes the mumps virus can also cause inflammation of the pancreas or meninges membranes.
 The symptoms of mumps normally appear two 2-3 weeks after the patient has been infected. However, over 20 per cent of the people with the virus do not suffer any symptoms at all. 

To reduce the spread of mumps, the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is often given at an early age to build immunity to the virus.
Dr Vusi Magagula, the Director of Health, confirmed that there were cases of mumps that have been reported over the past week. However, he said he was unsure of the figures at the present moment.

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