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Mumps Information

What are Mumps?

Mumps are an infection of the salivary glands spread through the respiratory secretions. Mumps spreads by sharing drinks, kissing, sneezing or coughing. There is no specific treatment for mumps. Because mumps are a virus, antibiotics are not given.

Mumps often starts with cold-like symptoms. Symptoms include swelling of the glands close to the jaw, fever, headache and muscle ache. Although mumps is a mild disease, one in three men may get painful, swollen testicles. Some of the men may end up in rare cases with infertility. Women who develop mumps during the first trimester of pregnancy may have higher risk of miscarriage. Mumps can cause encephalitis or meningitis. Meningitis may lead to permanent damage of the brain, spinal cord and can rarely cause death.

How long does it take Mumps symptoms to appear?

A person with Mumps is most contagious about three (3) days before their symptoms start, and for five (5) days after jaw swelling. It usually takes on average 16-18 days after being exposed for symptoms to start in a person.

Is the Mumps vaccine working?

The MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine protects patients against the strain. No vaccine is 100% effective. Although the vaccine is 95% effective, some people who receive the vaccine may still get the Mumps.

What should I do if I think I have the Mumps?

  • Limit contact with others until you speak with a Health Care Provider. Do not go to school, work, any public places or to social activities.
  • Call your Health Care Provider immediately. Tell them you may have the Mumps and make an appointment. It is important that you are seen and the right testing is done. When you arrive at the Health Care Provider a mask will be made available for you to wear to avoid others getting Mumps.
  • If you are diagnosed with Mumps, you should stay home from work, school or public places. Avoid close contact with others for 5 days after your symptoms started, or when the symptoms are no longer present, whichever is LONGER.

To Avoid Spreading the Illness/Disease

  • Wash your hands frequently with warm soapy water for minimum 15 seconds.
  • Do not share drinks or utensils.
  • Cover your cough with elbow/tissue and dispose of properly.
  • Stay home when you are sick.