Mumps is a viral infection. The infection causes fever and swelling of the parotid glands.
Because of the mumps
, this condition is not as common as it once was in the US.
Swollen Parotid Gland
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
The virus is usually spread through contact with an infected person's saliva. The mumps virus is highly contagious. It spreads easily among people in close contact.
These factors increase your chance of developing mumps:
Being exposed to unvaccinated people or to people who have mumps Being born after 1956 and never having mumps, or not being vaccinated after first birthday Age: 10-19 Season: winter Having a weakened immune system, even if you have been vaccinated
Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors.
About one third of cases have no symptoms at all. Symptoms often occur 2-3 weeks after exposure to the virus.
Mumps may cause:
Painful swelling of the parotid glands (under the cheeks and jaw) Fever Sore throat Headache Stiff neck Nausea and vomiting Drowsiness
Other areas may also be affected, such as:
Swelling and pain under the tongue, jaw, or front of the chest In males: painful inflammation of the testicles In females: inflammation of the ovaries, which results in pain or tenderness in the abdomen
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and personal medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will diagnose the mumps based on these findings.
There is no specific
for mumps. Mumps is caused by a virus. Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics. Do not treat mumps with
Do not give aspirin to children or teens with a current or recent viral infection. Check with your doctor before giving a child aspirin.
In general, mumps will last about 10-12 days. Try these comfort measures:
Apply hot or cold compresses to swollen areas. Gargle with warm salt water to soothe sore throat.
Treat high fever with
ibuprofen Drink plenty of liquids. Avoid tart or acidic drinks (eg, orange juice, lemonade). Eat a soft, bland diet.
In most healthy children, complications are rare. When complications do occur, they include:
(may not be permanent)
Deafness Swelling or infection of the brain, pancreas, heart, or other organs Testicular inflammation (may occur in up to 20% of adolescent boys and men)
(sterility is rare)
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent mumps. The vaccine contains live viruses that can no longer cause disease.
The mumps vaccine is usually given in combination with:
Measles, rubella, and
(chicken pox) vaccine (MMRV)
The regular schedule for giving the vaccine is at age 12-15 months and again at age 4-6 years. If you or your child has never been vaccinated against the mumps, talk to the doctor.
Last reviewed September 2009 by
David Horn, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a
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