Condition 101 About Mumps

What is the definition of Mumps?

Mumps is a contagious disease that leads to painful swelling of the salivary glands. The salivary glands produce saliva, a liquid that moistens food and helps you chew and swallow.

What are the alternative names for Mumps?

Epidemic parotitis; Viral parotitis; Parotitis

What are the causes for Mumps?

Mumps is caused by a virus. The virus spreads from person to person by drops of moisture from the nose and mouth, such as through sneezing. It is also spread through direct contact with items that have infected saliva on them.

Mumps most often occurs in children ages 2 through 12 who have not been vaccinated against the disease. However, the infection can occur at any age and may also be seen in college age students.

The time between being exposed to the virus and getting sick (incubation period) is about 12 to 25 days.

Mumps may also infect the:

  • Central nervous system
  • Pancreas
  • Testes

What are the symptoms for Mumps?

Symptoms of mumps may include:

  • Face pain
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of the parotid glands (the largest salivary glands, located between the ear and the jaw)
  • Swelling of the temples or jaw (temporomandibular area)

Other symptoms that can occur in males are:

  • Testicle lump
  • Testicle pain
  • Scrotal swelling

What are the current treatments for Mumps?

There is no specific treatment for mumps. The following things can be done to relieve symptoms:

  • Apply ice or heat packs to the neck area.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve pain. DO NOT give aspirin to children with a viral illness because of the risk for Reye syndrome.
  • Drink extra fluid.
  • Eat soft foods.
  • Gargle with warm salt water.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Mumps?

People with this disease do well most of the time, even if organs are involved. After the illness is over in about 7 days, they'll be immune to mumps for the rest of their life.

What are the possible complications for Mumps?

Infection of other organs may occur, including testicle swelling (orchitis).

When should I contact a medical professional for Mumps?

Contact your provider if you or your child has mumps along with:

  • Red eyes
  • Constant drowsiness
  • Constant vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Severe headache
  • Pain or a lump in testicle

Call 911 or the local emergency number or visit the emergency room if seizures occur.

How do I prevent Mumps?

MMR immunization (vaccine) protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. It should be given to children at these ages:

  • First dose: 12 through 15 months old
  • Second dose: 4 through 6 years old

Adults can also receive the vaccine. Talk to your provider about this.

Recent outbreaks of the mumps have supported the importance of having all children vaccinated.



Litman N, Baum SG. Mumps virus. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 157.

Mason WH, Gans HA. Mumps. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 275.

Patel M, Gnann JW. Mumps. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 345.

Top Global Doctors For Mumps

Latest Advances On Mumps

  • Condition: Infection-Associated Opsoclonus in Children in India
  • Journal: Journal of child neurology
  • Treatment Used: Steroids
  • Number of Patients: 15
  • Published —
This case series describes children in India who were diagnosed with infection-associated opsoclonus (rapid, uncontrolled eye movement) treated with steroids.
  • Condition: Warts
  • Journal: Dermatologic therapy
  • Treatment Used: Injection of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine versus Cryotherapy
  • Number of Patients: 48
  • Published —
The study researched the use of injection of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine versus cryotherapy in treating patients with warts.

Clinical Trials For Mumps

Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Intervention Type: Diagnostic Test
  • Participants: 80
  • Start Date: December 17, 2020
Determining Biomarkers of Trained Immunity in a Randomized Controlled Trial of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine - a Sub-study of the CROWN CORONATION Trial
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: Phase 2/Phase 3
  • Intervention Type: Biological
  • Participants: 12000
  • Start Date: October 12, 2020
Phase II/III of Live Attenuated Mumps (F-genotype) Vaccine (Human Diploid Cell, KMB-17) in Healthy Children Aged 5-11