What is mumps?

It is an infection caused by the mumps virus.

Who can get mumps?

Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps. Before the routine vaccination program was introduced in the United States, mumps was a common illness in infants, children and young adults. Because most people have now been vaccinated, mumps is now a rare disease in the United States. Of those people who do get mumps, up to half have very mild, or no symptoms, and therefore do not know they were infected with mumps.

What are the symptoms of mumps?

The most common symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite followed by onset of parotitis (swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears -- on one or both sides).

Are there complications of mumps?

The most common complication is the inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty, but rarely does this lead to fertility problems.

Other rare complications include:
Inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/meningitis)

Inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breasts (mastitis) in females who have reached puberty

Spontaneous abortion particularly in early pregnancy (miscarriage)

Deafness, usually permanent

Next: How soon do symptoms appear?
Mumps Index

Share This Article

Patient Discussions - Viewers share their comments
Mumps - Describe Your Experience
The MedicineNet physician editors ask:

Please describe your experience with mumps.
View 7 Comments |
Submit Your Comment

Suggested Reading on Mumps by Our Doctors
Related Diseases & Conditions
13 articles
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are
Low Testosterone (Low T)
Low testosterone can affect both men and...