THIS disease appears most often among children; but as it is not confined to them, I have not placed it among their complaints.
Symptoms. It begins with soreness and stiffness in the side of the neck. Soon a swelling of the parotid gland takes place, which is painful, and continues to increase for four or five days, sometimes becoming very large, and making it difficult to swallow, or open the mouth to receive food. After the fourth or fifth day the swelling subsides, and disappears in from seven to ten days.
Both glands generally swell about the same time, but sometimes the swelling appears in one only after it has subsided in the other, and occasionally the swelling is wholly confined to one side.
When the swelling is great, there is heat, and sometimes fever, with dry skin, quick pulse, furred tongue, constipated bowels, and scanty and high colored urine.
The affection is sometimes translated, as we say; that is, in females, the breast swells, and in males, the testicles become swollen and painful. This accident generally happens in consequence of taking cold from some imprudence.
The disease is contagious; that is, it is communicated from one person to another.
Treatment. In mild cases, very little treatment is required. Keeping the face and neck warm, avoiding exposure to cold and damp, drinking warm infusions of balm, spearmint, or sage, and apply a poultice of flax seed over the glands until the patient is fully relieved; or the compound powder of jalap, if there be costiveness, is about all that is required. The diet should consist of rye hasty pudding, or brown bread and sweetened water.
If the case be severe, and other glands swell, physic must be freely used, poultices must be applied, and cooling lotions given. Sweating must also be induced by the comp3uiid tincture of Virginia snake. root, or by a vapor bath.
In young girls mumps often attack the ovaries and make the invalid a great sufferer for a few days; the testicle of the male is similarly affected at times. These complications call for soothing applications and rest in bed.
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