Mumps – Causes, symptoms and treatment

Mumps is a common childhood viral infection characterized by swelling of salivary glands. Learn its symptoms and treatment to stay protected.

Mumps is a vaccine-preventable viral infection that causes pain and swelling in the salivary glands (the glands which produce saliva). It is contagious in the days prior to the appearance of mumps symptoms to a few days after the symptoms disappear. The incubation period is about 18 days and one attack gives lifelong immunity.  Although mumps may affect adults, children between the ages of five to 15 years are the most vulnerable.


Mumps is spread by droplet infection like a cough, sneeze, or direct contact with an infected person. It can also spread through contact with contaminated items and surfaces.

Signs and symptoms

Facial pain.
Swollen gland in neck, or jaw.
Fever, headache, and sore throat.

Mumps treatment

1. Patients diagnosed with mumps should be isolated for five days from the onset of symptoms to minimize the risk of infecting others. 

2. After diagnosing mumps, doctors may advise medicines to get relief from symptoms. Paracetamol helps to reduce fever and relieve pain.

3. Warm or cold compresses are generally advised to relieve pain and swelling in the parotid glands. Cool compresses and scrotal support may help reduce pain and swelling in the testicles.

4. Avoid foods that stimulate the parotid glands (stimulating the glands causes pain) such as fruit juices and sour beverages.

Mumps prevention

The Indian Academy of Pediatrics recommends the administration of three MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine doses - one in 9 months, second in 15 months, and third in between four to five years of age. MMR vaccine is safe and effective. The mumps component of the MMR vaccine is about 88% (range: 31%−95%) effective when a person gets two doses, and one dose is about 78% (range: 49%−92%) effective.

 Rare complications

The complications are rare but possible if not treated timely or left untreated

Pancreatitis with abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. There can be hearing loss or impairment, which may be permanent, but this is very rare. There can be infection of the central nervous system.

Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice.  Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other health professionals for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.


Tags : #Health #Mumps #Viralinfection #Salivaryglandsdisease #MMR #Facialpain #Mumpssymptoms #Mumpstreatment #Medicircle #SmitaKumar

About the Author

Renu Gupta

With a background in Pharmacy which is the clinical health science that links medical science with chemistry, I had the desire to mix creativity to these fields. Medicircle provides me an avenue to apply my training in science and interest in creativity together.

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