Table of Contents
- Mumps (parotitis) facts
- What is mumps?
- What is the history of mumps?
- What causes mumps? Is mumps contagious? How is mumps transmitted?
- What is the incubation period for mumps?
- What is the contagious period for mumps?
- How long does mumps last?
- What are risk factors for contracting mumps?
- What does mumps look like?
- What are the signs and symptoms of mumps in children and adults?
- How do health care professionals diagnose mumps?
- What is the medical treatment for mumps in adults and in children?
- What types of health care professionals treat mumps?
- What are complications of mumps?
- Is it possible to prevent mumps? Is there a vaccine for mumps?
- Who should not get vaccinated with the MMR?
- What is the prognosis of a mumps infection?
- Where can people find more information on mumps?
- Can people get mumps twice?
Quick GuideChildhood Diseases: Measles, Mumps, & More
What is mumps?
Mumps is a vaccine-preventable viral infection transmitted by and affecting only humans. While the salivary glands (especially the parotid gland at the sides of the cheeks) are well known to be involved during a mumps infection, many other organ systems may also experience effects of the virus infection. There is no cure for mumps, but the illness is of short duration (seven to 10 days) and resolves spontaneously. Prior to the introduction of mumps immunization, the highest incidence of new cases of mumps was reported in the late winter to early spring.
What is the history of mumps?
Medical historians believe that documentation of a clinical illness consistent with mumps dates back to Greco-Roman times. The first effective vaccine against mumps was introduced in 1948 and used from 1950-1978. Unfortunately, this vaccine strain had limited long-term immune memory effectiveness. The current strain used in the United States and worldwide provides 88% long-term immunity. The current childhood mumps immunization schedule recommends vaccination at 12-15 months old and a booster at 4-6 years of age. The mumps vaccine is commonly administered as part of a combination vaccine (MMR) also providing protection against measles and rubella (German measles).
Prior to the routine administration of the MMR vaccine, approximately 186,000 cases per year were documented in the United States. With immunization, that number has fallen to 2,015 cases in 2015. Recently, there have been outbreaks of mumps in Washington state.
Albrecht, Mary A. "Epidemiology, Clinical Manifestations, Diagnosis and Management of Mumps." UptoDate.com. Jan. 2011.
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Meissner, H. Cody. "What You Need to Know About Mumps." AAP News Oct. 3, 2016. IMAGES:
7.MedicineNet / CDC