The Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has issued an advisory on precautions to take to prevent certain common infections such as mumps, chicken pox and measles.

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In mumps infection the person develops swelling of the jaws, pain in the neck and head, loss of appetite, general weakness and pain while chewing or swallowing.

The infection occurs in the salivary glands situated below the ear lobes.

Chicken pox manifests as small fluid-filled blisters on the skin that grow in size. The fluid evntually dries up and leaves scabs behind. Children, immunocompromised individuals and the elderly are at risk for the disease.

Among those with measles the symptoms include fever, cough and runny nose.

Acne-like reddish blisters form on face, neck and scross the body. The eyes are blood shot.

Infected persons can spread the disease by sneezing and coughing or by sharing their things.

The infection disappears within a couple of weeks. People are advised to consult a doctor and get treated.

The infected persons must be isolated.

To prevent the infections it is advised to drink a lot of fluids, including tender coconut, consume fruits and fruit juices.

Aerated drinks and ice cream should be avoided.

To prevent such infections People are advised to wear loose fitting cotton clothes and avoid going out in the sun.

People must avoid tight garments and fabrics such as polyester and nylon.

The DPH has advised that persons with any of the above infections must visit the nearby governement health centre or hospital and get treated.

According to the director of public health in March so far 205 mumps cases were reported in the IHIP portal.

“Mostly children are affected,” he said, adding: “Though numbers are raising compared to previous years, since the viral disease is self-limiting and is no concern regarding mortality, there is no need to worry at this point of time.”

At present only isolation of cases with supportive measures, as well as follow up of respiratory hygiene especially in institutional settings like educational institutions, is advised, he added.

It is foe this reason that vaccine is not provided for mumps in the Universal Immunisation Programme, Dr Selvavinayagagm, DPH, explained.

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