Mumps is a viral infection of the parotid glands. These glands are located on the side of the face, near the ear. Because of the mumps vaccine, this condition is not as common as it once was in the United States.
The virus is usually spread through contact with an infected person's saliva. The mumps virus spreads easily among people in close contact.
Mumps are more common in children and adolescents between the ages of 10-19 years of age. Other factors that may increase your chance of mumps include:
About one-third of cases do not have symptoms. Symptoms often occur 2-3 weeks after exposure to the virus.
Mumps may cause:
Other areas may also be affected, such as:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis will be based on these findings.
There is no specific treatment for mumps. Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics.
In general, mumps will last about 10-12 days. Comfort measures may include:
Aspirin is not usually recommended for children with a current or recent viral infection.
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:
The regular schedule for giving the vaccine is at age 12-15 months and again at age 4-6 years.
Ask your doctor if the vaccine is right for you. In general, avoid the vaccine if you:
If you are not vaccinated, avoid contact with someone who has mumps. Discuss the benefits of vaccination with your doctor.
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Kassianos G. Vaccination for tomorrow: the need to improve immunisation rates. J Fam Health Care. 2010;20(1):13-6.
Mumps. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mumps. Updated May 29, 2015. Accessed June 7, 2016.
Mumps. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. UpdatedSeptember 8, 2015. Accessed June 7, 2016.
Mumps. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sick/mumps.html. Updated February 2016. Accessed June 7, 2016.
Mumps. Immunization Action Committee website. Available at: http://www.vaccineinformation.org/mumps. Updated January 12, 2015. Accessed June 7, 2016.
Wilson KF, Meier JD, et al. Salivary gland disorders. 2014;89(11):882-888.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Marcie Sidman, MD Last Updated: 5/11/2013