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 causes mumps? Is mumps contagious? How is mumps transmitted?
Mumps virus is a single strand of RNA housed inside a two-layered envelope that provides the virus its characteristic immune signature. Only one type of mumps virus has been demonstrated to exist (in contrast to the many virus types that can cause the common cold).
Mumps is highly contagious on the order of magnitude of both influenza and rubella (German measles). It is, however, less contagious than measles and varicella (chickenpox). It is transmitted only from human to human. Mumps has a rapid spread among members living in close quarters. The virus most commonly is spread directly from one person to another via respiratory droplets expelled during sneezing or coughing. Less frequently, the respiratory droplets may land on fomites (sheets, pillows, clothing) and then be transmitted via hand-to-mouth contact after touching such items. Animals cannot contract or spread measles.
What is the incubation period for mumps?
There is a 14-18-day period between contracting the mumps virus and onset of symptoms and signs. Viral shedding is short lived and a patient should be isolated from other susceptible individuals for the first five days following the onset of swelling of the salivary (parotid) glands.
What is the contagious period for mumps?
The highest likelihood of spreading mumps covers the period of two days before the onset of symptoms and the first five days of parotid gland swelling and tenderness.
How long does mumps last?
Routine cases of mumps last approximately seven to 10 days.
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