What is mumps?
Mumps is an infection caused by a virus. It is highly contagious and passes easily from person to person, so prevention is very important.
What is my risk?
Mumps is spread from person to person. Anyone who has not been fully vaccinated or has not previously had mumps can catch the disease. Although mumps is commonly thought of as a childhood disease, teenagers and adults can also catch it if they are not immune. Speak with one of our health specialists to understand your risk of contracting mumps.
How is it transmitted?
The mumps virus can be spread in several different ways including:
- direct contact, such as kissing an infected person;
- through the air, such as when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks;
- by touching objects that were recently exposed to infected mucus or saliva (when someone else touches the same surface and rubs their eyes, mouth or nose).
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection.
Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. This is a result of swollen salivary glands.
The most common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis).
Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and often they do not know they have the disease.
Can mumps be treated?
Because mumps is caused by a virus, rather than by bacteria, antibiotics cannot treat the infection. Most people with mumps recover in a few weeks.
Get vaccinated. The mumps vaccine is usually given as part of a combined vaccine with other diseases.
Mumps is a very common infection in many parts of the world, make sure your immunizations are up to date for you and your children.