UNDERSTANDING MUMPS

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands.

HOW COMMON IS MUMPS?

According to the World Health Organization, in 2016 there were a total of 583,199 reported cases of mumps worldwide. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of reported cases in the United States, from 229 cases in 2012 to 5,629 cases in 2017.


cases worldwide

LEARN THE FACTS

Mumps causes puffy cheeks and swollen jaws, which is a result of swollen salivary glands. Some people who get mumps have very mild symptoms or no signs at all, and often they are unaware they have the disease. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.

THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:

Fever

Headache

Generalized
muscle aches

Tiredness

Loss of appetite

Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis)

Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection, but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection.

MUMPS CAN BE SERIOUS

In most people, mumps is mild. But it can cause serious, long-lasting problems including

  • Encephalitis (swelling of the brain),
  • Aseptic Meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord),
  • Deafness (temporary and permanent),
  • Orchitis (swelling of the testicles) in males who have reached puberty,
  • Oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) and/or mastitis (swelling of the breasts) in females who have reached puberty.

TRANSMISSION OF MUMPS

It spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by:

  • Coughing, sneezing, or talking,
  • Sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and
  • Touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.
  • Mumps likely spreads before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after the swelling begins.