​Mumps

What is it?

  • Mumps is an infection caused by a virus.
  • Most children are immunized against Mumps.
  • There is no treatment for Mumps.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever, headache, pain, swelling and tenderness in one or more salivary glands in the neck (parotitis).

How do you get it?

  • Spreads generally during face-to-face contact or by direct contact with saliva (spit) and droplets from the nose or throat from a person sick with mumps, such as coughing, sneezing, sharing drinks, kissing, or from touching an object that was used by the sick person (toys, door knobs).
  • It can take 12 to 25 days after you become infected for symptoms to appear.
  • Mumps is contagious from 7 days before the start of parotitis, up to 5 days after the start of parotitis.

Treatment

  • There is no specific treatment for mumps.
  • Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol®) may reduce the fever and pain.
  • Hot or cold packs may also ease the pain.
  • Close household contacts of the individual with mumps will need to be immunized if they are over 12 months of age and have not received an MMR vaccine.

Complications

  • Swelling of the testicles (orchitis) is a common complication in males that are past puberty (teenagers/adults).
  • Can cause meningitis (an infection of the fluid and lining that cover the brain and spinal cord).
  • About 1 in every 19 people with Mumps gets meningitis.

Prevention

  • Check your child’s immunization record to see if he/she has had the Mumps vaccine at the recommended ages.  See the fact sheet MMR Vaccine.
  • Teach your child to cover his/her mouth when coughing or sneezing, and not to share food, drinks, or eating utensils with others.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after coughing, sneezing, wiping a nose, eating or preparing food.

A child sick with Mumps may return to school 5 days after the onset of the swollen glands (parotitis).

Mumps is a reportable disease and must be reported to the Local Medical Officer of Health under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.