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Mumps Disease

What is Mumps Disease?

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Mumps is best known for causing puffy cheeks and swollen jaws. The virus spreads and affects multiple areas in the body, especially in adults

What are the symptoms of Mumps?

  • Symptoms usually appear 16-18 days (some times up to 25 days) after you are infected with the virus.
  • Most common symptoms include:
    --Muscle aches
    --Loss of appetite
    --Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides (parotitis)
  • Some patients may experience very mild or no symptoms at all.
  • The most common complications from mumps affect the brain, testicles (in males), and ovaries (in females).

How does mumps spread?

  • Mumps is spread from person-to-person.
  • It spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person when they:
    --Coughs, sneezes, or talks
    --Shares their used drinking and eating cups, plates, spoons, forks, or knives
    --Touches items or surfaces without washing their hands, and then someone else touches those same surfaces and then touches their mouth or nose.
    --Mumps spreads before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after the swelling begins.

What is he best way to prevent getting the mumps?

  • The best prevention is receiving the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, but no vaccine is 100% effective.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Stay home if ill.

Where can I find more information about mumps disease?

  • As your doctor or call your local county health department.
  • Email the Alabama Department of Public Health, Immunization Division, at [email protected]
  • Go to and type 'mumps disease' in the SEARCH box.

Mumps Vaccine

Who should get mumps vaccine?

  • Mump vaccine in only available in measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
  • Infants and children should get 2 doses.
  • Students in post-high school education should get 2 doses.
  • Adults born after 1956 should bet 1 dose.
  • Women of childbearing age should get 1 dose before getting pregnant.
  • Healthcare staff should get 2 doses.
  • International travelers should be up-to-date for MMR before traveling.

What are the vaccine side effects and risks?

  • Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps or rubella disease.
  • The risk of MMR vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.
  • A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing side effects or a severe allergic reactions.
  • Mild problems usually occur 6-14 days after vaccine include:
    --Soreness where the shot was given.
    --Mild rash
  • Moderate problems include:
    --Seizures caused by fever
    --Temporary pain or stiffness in the joints
    --Temporary low platelet county
    --Severe problems are so very rare, it's hard to tell if MMR vaccine caused them:
    --Serious allergic reaction, deafness, long-term seizures, coma, and lowered consciousness, and permanent brain damage.

Where can I find more information about mumps disease or mumps vaccine?

  • Ask your doctor or contact your local county health department.
  • Email the Alabama Department of Public Health, Immunization Division, at [email protected]
  • Go to and type 'mumps disease' in the SEARCH box.
  • Read, print, and share our Mumps Flyer to learn more about pertussis disease and vaccines.

CDC Resources


Page last updated: May 23, 2024