Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. Most people with mumps recover in 7-10 days. Rarely, serious complications can occur including deafness, decreased fertility (in males), and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
Please contact your healthcare provider if you think you have mumps.
Symptoms usually appear 12-25 days after a person has become infected. Symptoms include:
- Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or jaw on one or both sides of the face (parotitis)
- Muscle ache
- Swollen, painful testicles
- Abdominal pain in females
- Loss of appetite
People infected with mumps are considered contagious 1-2 days before swelling/pain starts and for 5 days afterwards.
Mumps spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person. An infected person can spread mumps to others by kissing, or by sharing food, drinks, eating utensils, cigarettes or any other items or surfaces that have been contaminated with an infected person’s saliva.
The best way to prevent Mumps is to get the recommended 2 doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
If you have mumps, you can prevent spreading the virus to others by doing the following:
- Stay home from work, school, or daycare for 5 days after the start of jaw pain or swelling
- Avoid close contact with people, including those people in your home
- Do not share food, drinks, utensils, or other items that come in contact with your mouth or nose
- Cover your coughs or sneezes (use a tissue or upper sleeve/elbow)
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Regularly clean home surfaces with cleaning wipes or soap and water
- Encourage those around you to check if they have had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine
- Contact your healthcare provider by phone if you have one and let them know that you may have mumps.
- If you do not have a health care provider, you may need to be seen at your local hospital emergency room or urgent care center.
- Please call before going to a doctor’s office, urgent care, or emergency room to let them know you may have mumps so you can avoid exposing others in the waiting room.
The healthcare provider may test you for mumps by swabbing the inside of your cheek, testing your urine and blood. Ideally, testing should be done within the first 3 days of your symptoms. They will ask you to stay home from work, school or daycare and avoid other people for 5 days after the start of jaw pain or swelling to prevent spread of the disease to others. Healthcare providers are encouraged to immediately report suspect mumps to Maricopa County Department of Public Health by calling (602) 506-6767.