Mumps is caused by a virus and is spread through the air. The illness begins with pain in the jaw then swelling in front of ear and fever. Complications include meningitis and encephalitis (brain inflammation) which may lead to brain damage or death, occur in up to % of cases.

How is it spread?

Contact with the saliva of someone who is infected with Mumps, eg. coughing, sneezing, kissing, and sharing food and drink.

Time between exposure and illness

Between 12-25 days. Usually about 16-18 days

Infectious period

From about one week before swelling appears until 9 days after.

Prevention of spread to others

Exclude child from school, child care, and non-family contacts until 9 days after the swelling appears or until child is well, whichever is the sooner.

It is recommended that all contacts of a mumps case who have not had mumps disease or 2 doses of a mumps vaccine, receive mumps vaccine. This does not prevent infection but prevents contracting mumps in future.