Mumps

Mumps is a viral infection. The infection causes fever and swelling 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.

  • Causes

    The virus is usually spread through contact with an infected person's saliva. The mumps virus spreads easily among people in close contact.

  • Definition


    Mumps is a viral infection. The infection causes fever and swelling 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.

    Swollen Parotid Gland
    Swollen Parotid Gland
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis

    The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will diagnose the mumps based on these findings.

  • Prevention

    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
      and
      rubella
      vaccine (MMR)

    • Measles, rubella, and
      varicella
      (chicken pox) vaccine (MMRV)

    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:

    • Have had severe allergic reactions to vaccines or vaccine components
    • Are pregnant—Avoid pregnancy for 1-3 months after receiving the vaccine.
    • Have a weakened immune system
    • Have a high fever or severe upper respiratory tract infection

    If you are not vaccinated, avoid contact with someone who has mumps. Discuss the benefits of vaccination with your doctor.

  • Risk Factors

    These factors increase your chance of developing mumps:

    • Being unvaccinated and exposed to people who have mumps
    • Being born after 1956 and never having mumps, or not being vaccinated after first birthday
    • Age: 10-19 years
    • Season: winter
    • Having a weakened immune system, even if you have been vaccinated

  • Symptoms

    About one-third of cases do not have symptoms. Symptoms often occur 2-3 weeks after exposure to the virus.

    Mumps may cause:

    • Painful swelling of the parotid glands
    • Fever
    • Discomfort
    • Lack of appetite
    • 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

  • Treatment


    There is no specific
    treatment
    for mumps. Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics.

    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 a sore throat.

    • Treat high fever with
      acetaminophen
      or
      ibuprofen
      .
    • Drink plenty of liquids. Avoid tart or acidic drinks such as, orange juice or lemonade
    • Eat a soft, bland diet.

    Note:
    Do not give aspirin to children or teens with a current or recent viral infection. Check with your doctor before giving a child aspirin.