What is Mumps?

Mumps is a viral illness that occurs most frequently in winter and spring.  It causes swollen glands, especially in the face and neck.

Who can get Mumps?

Anyone who has not had a confirmed case of Mumps (mostly people born after 1956) and who has not been given a live Mumps vaccine.

What are the symptoms of Mumps?

  • Painfully swollen glands of the face and neck
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Earache

How long after exposure do symptoms first begin?

Usually 14 -18 days.

How is Mumps spread?

Mumps is easily spread by nose, throat and mouth droplets through talking, coughing and sneezing.

How long is a person contagious?

Persons with Mumps are usually considered most infectious for 2 3 days before until 5 days after the swelling begins.

Are there complications?

Recovery is usually complete.  However, one in four teenage or adult males may have painful swelling of the testicles which sometimes leads to sterility.  Mumps can cause swollen ovaries and breasts in teenage or adult females.  Mumps infections during the first three months of pregnancy may cause the loss of the unborn baby.

Is there a treatment for Mumps?

Keep quiet, comfortable and at home until five days after the swelling is gone.  Mumps must be reported to the local health department.

How can Mumps be prevented?

  • Mumps can be prevented by vaccination.
  • Mumps vaccine is a two dose series.
  • All healthy children should be vaccinated at 12 15 months of age with the combination shot for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR).
  • A 2nd dose MMR vaccine is usually given at 4 6 years of age, however it can be given anytime four weeks after the 1st dose.
  • Pregnant women should not get vaccinated as this is a live viral vaccine.  All women of childbearing age should keep out of contact with those who have Mumps.
  • Be sure to keep a record of all immunizations.  Write down when the shots were given.

What if Mumps occurs at school or a day care center?

All cases must be reported to your local health department within 24 hours.  People born after 1956 who cannot prove that they either have had;

  1. Mumps diagnosed by a doctor, OR
  2. Mumps vaccine after 12 months of age and a 2nd dose at least four weeks later, should get the Mumps vaccine.  Otherwise, they will be excluded from school/day care until at least 25 days after the beginning of the last Mumps case.