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How soon do symptoms appear?
Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 after infection.
How is mumps spread?
Mumps is spread by mucus or droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person, usually when a person coughs or sneezes. Surfaces of items (e.g. toys) can also spread the virus if someone who is sick touches them without washing their hands, and someone else then touches the same surface and then rubs their eyes, mouth, nose etc. (this is called fomite transmission).
How long is an infected person able to spread the disease?
Mumps virus has been found in respiratory secretions 7 days before until 8 days after onset of parotitis. The highest isolation rates (~90%) occur closest to parotitis onset and decline rapidly thereafter. Most mumps transmission likely occurs before parotitis onset and within the subsequent 5 days. Transmission may also occur from persons who are not isolated including during the prodromal phase and from subclinical infections. Therefore, CDC now recommends a 5-day period after parotitis onset for isolation of mumps case-patients in community and healthcare settings and for use of standard and droplet precautions.
How long should a person with mumps be isolated?CDC recommends isolation of mumps patients for 5 days after onset of parotitis.
What is the treatment for mumps?
There is no specific treatment. Supportive care should be given as needed. If someone becomes very ill, they should seek medical attention. If someone seeks medical attention, they should call their doctor in advance so that they don't have to sit in the waiting room for a long time and possibly infect other patients.
How do I protect myself (my kids/my family)?
Mumps vaccine (usually MMR), is the best way to prevent mumps. Other things people can do to prevent mumps and other infections is to wash hands well and often with soap, and to teach children to wash their hands too. Eating utensils should not be shared, and surfaces that are frequently touched (toys, doorknobs, tables, counters, etc) should also be regularly cleaned with soap and water, or with cleaning wipes.
Is there a vaccine to prevent mumps?
Yes. Two doses of mumps-containing vaccine, given as combination measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, separated by at least 28 days, are routinely recommended for all children. The first dose is given on or after the first birthday; the second is given at 4 - 6 years of age. MMR is a live, weakened (attenuated) vaccine. Most adults who have not been vaccinated should also receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine, but adults who work in healthcare, a school/university setting, and persons at high risk of exposure to mumps should get 2 doses. Pregnant women and persons with an impaired immune system should not receive live attenuated vaccines (MMR vaccine).
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