- What is mumps?
- Who can get mumps?
- What are the symptoms?
- When do symptoms appear?
- Are there complications?
- How is mumps spread?
- How long is someone contagious?
- How is mumps treated?
- How do I protect myself?
- How can the spread of mumps be stopped?
- How can I learn more?
Anyone who isn’t immune, either from a previous infection or from vaccination. In the past, mumps was common among infants, children and young adults; now, most people in the U.S. are routinely vaccinated. Of those who do get mumps, up to half have very mild, or no symptoms, and don’t know they were infected.
The most common symptoms are:
• muscle aches
• tiredness; and
• loss of appetite.
These are followed by swollen, tender salivary glands under the ears, on one or both sides.
Severe complications are rare. However, mumps can cause:
• inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord;
• inflammation of the testicles;
• inflammation of the ovaries and/or breasts;
• miscarriage, particularly in early pregnancy; and
• deafness, usually permanent.
By mucus or droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person, usually when a person coughs or sneezes. Surfaces can also spread the virus, if someone who’s sick touches them without washing their hands, and someone else touches the same surface and then rubs their eyes, mouth, nose, etc.
From three days before the start of symptoms until nine days after onset.
There’s no specific treatment. Supportive care should be given as needed. If someone becomes very ill, they should seek medical attention.
• Mumps vaccine (usually MMR) is the best way to prevent mumps.
• Wash your hands well and often with soap.
• Don’t share eating utensils.
• Regularly clean surfaces with soap and water or cleaning wipes.
Anyone with mumps shouldn’t go back to school or work for nine days after symptoms begin. People who come in contact with a mumps case should have their immunization status evaluated by their health care provider. Anyone who hasn’t received mumps-containing vaccine (preferably MMR) should be vaccinated.
Talk with your health care provider about your specific concerns.
More information is available on the from the Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov, or from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, www.mass.gov/dph.
Or, call UHS' Public Health office, (413) 577-5193.