Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. You can protect yourself and your family against mumps with vaccination.
The MMR vaccine usually produces life-long immunity. Vaccination recommendations include:
One dose of MMR for all children at 12 to 15 months
A second dose of MMR for all children at 4 to 6 years of age
Adults born before 1957 should have one dose of MMR or documented proof of immunity
Adults born after 1957 should have a second dose of MMR or documented proof of immunity
Mumps is no longer very common in the United States, but outbreaks continue to occur. Outbreaks have most commonly occurred in places where people have had prolonged, close contact with a person who has mumps, such as attending the same class, playing on the same sports team, or living in the same dormitory.
If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms of mumps, stay home from school or work and contact your physician.
Persons who are ill with mumps should limit their contact with others in the community for up to five days after their onset of symptoms when they are most likely to easily transmit the virus to others through their saliva. Everyone can help prevent the virus from spreading by:
Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Disposing of used tissues in the trash can.
If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
Washing your hands often with soap and water.
Avoiding sharing drinks or eating utensils.
Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters.