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 are the signs and symptoms of mumps in children and adults?
Nonspecific symptoms of low-grade fever, headache, muscle aches (myalgia), reduced appetite, and malaise occur during the first 48 hours of mumps infection. Parotid gland swelling characteristically is present on day three of illness. (The parotid gland is a salivary gland located anterior to the ear and above the angle of the jaw -- imagine a large set of sideburns.) The parotid gland is swollen and tender to touch, and referred pain to the ear may also occur. Parotid gland swelling may last up to 10 days, and adults generally experience worse symptoms than children. Approximately 95% of individuals who develop symptoms of mumps will experience tender inflammation of their parotid glands.
Interestingly about 15%-20% of mumps cases have no clinical evidence of infection, and 50% of patients will have only nonspecific respiratory symptoms and not the characteristic description above. Adults are more likely to experience such a subclinical or respiratory-only constellation of symptoms while children between 2-9 years of age are more likely to experience the classic presentation of mumps with parotid gland swelling.
How do health care professionals diagnose mumps?
The diagnosis of mumps is primarily one of clinical acumen. Laboratory studies are generally done to support the clinical impression. The purpose of these laboratory studies is to exclude other viruses that may give a similar clinical presentation as well as to exclude very infrequent similarly presenting parotid gland enlargement (for examples, salivary gland cancer, Sjögren's syndrome, IgG-4 related disease, sarcoidosis, side effects of thiazide diuretics, etc.).
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