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Beke sa Bata: Common Facts and Myths

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Nov 23, 2023

Beke sa Bata: Common Facts and Myths

Beke sa bata raises great concern among parents, mostly since it is thought to cause life-long complications like infertility along with several misconceptions. But what exactly are the facts and myths about mumps in children?

Fact #1: Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness

The first thing parents need to know is that mumps is contagious. For this reason, kids are highly encouraged to stay away from other people who exhibit symptoms of beke.

People transmit mumps through direct contact with saliva or exposure to droplets from coughing or sneezing. Once infection sets in, one or both of your child’s parotid glands (salivary glands in front of the ears) sustain inflammation. Over time, the inflammation extends under the jaw.

The swelling makes it hard for the child to open their mouth, chew, and swallow.

Fact #2: Symptoms don’t appear immediately

The tricky thing is that after a child’s exposure to someone with mumps, the symptoms don’t immediately show up, leading parents to believe that their little one didn’t catch the virus.

However, experts point out that kids may only start showing signs and symptoms 2 to 3 weeks after being exposed to the mumps virus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also highlights that someone with mumps is contagious a few days before their face starts swelling and about 5 days after.

Below are the common symptoms of beke sa bata:

  • Pain and swelling in the jaw areas
  • Difficulty in chewing and swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Earache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness

Fact #3: Beke sa bata is preventable

The next crucial fact is that there is a vaccine against mumps: the Mumps, Measles, and Rubella or MMR vaccine.

According to the DOH Expanded Program on Immunization, babies should receive this vaccine twice: in their 9th and 12th month.

If you notice that your child has already developed beke, it’s best to practice the following steps to prevent infection:

  • Keep your little one away from school until their symptoms clear.
  • Remind everyone in the family to wash their hands; as parents, washing your hands is a must after caring for your child with mumps.
  • Emphasize the importance of cough etiquette.
  • Regularly disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and objects.

Now that we know about the facts, let’s talk about the myths.

beke sa bata

Myth #1: Children with mumps will experience infertility in the future

The thought that mumps causes infertility is a myth. The fact is, beke sa bata can lead to complications like swollen testicles and ovaries, but rarely does it lead to infertility.

Other potential complications include:

  • Deafness, when caught at a young age. However, it is rare (1 in 20,000 cases in children).
  • Issues with the nervous system, such as meningitis and encephalitis.
  • Mastitis or the inflammation of the breast tissue.

Myth #2: Blue dye or vinegar is an effective treatment for beke sa bata

The treatment for mumps in children doesn’t include blue dye and vinegar. And since mumps is a viral infection, antibiotics will not work.

The moment you notice the symptoms—especially, the swelling in the jaw area—bring your child to the doctor. From their assessment, they will create an appropriate treatment plan for your child’s overall health status and symptoms.

At home, you can:

  • Give your child plenty of water.
  • Help them get adequate rest.
  • Offer them soft foods that are easy to swallow.
  • Refrain from giving them sour foods as they trigger saliva production.
  • Apply cold compress or ice pack on the swollen area.
  • Give them the doctor-prescribed medicines (acetaminophen for fever, pain etc.)
  • Myth #3:  The MMR vaccine ensures that beke sa bata can be prevented

    Although rare, it’s possible for someone who already received the MMR vaccine to still contract mumps, especially during an outbreak. The risk increases if the person didn’t receive both doses.

    The good news is the symptoms and complications in people who received the vaccine is less severe than in those who were not vaccinated.

    Learn more about the Importance of Immunization here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Nov 23, 2023

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