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. Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that is causes. This is a result of the swollen salivary glands. Symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after infection but this period can range from 12-25 days after infection. Mumps can occasionally cause complications, especially in adults including fertility problems, inflammation of the brain, inflammation of the spinal cord (meningitis) and deafness.

An infected person can spread the virus by:

  • Coughing, sneezing, talking
  • Sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others
  • Touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others

Mumps likely spreads before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after the swelling begins.

You can protect yourself and your family against mumps with vaccination. For more information about mumps, click here.

Vaccine - MMR

Mumps is a communicable disease that is preventable through a vaccine called MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella). The MMR vaccine prevents most, if not all, cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. Two doses of the vaccine are 88% (range of 66-95%) effective at preventing mumps, one dose is 78% (range 49% - 92%) effective. 

The first vaccine against mumps was licensed in the U.S. in 1967. By 2005, mumps rates declined by more than 99% thanks to high two-dose vaccination coverage among children. 

For more information on the MMR vaccine, click here.

School Exclusion and Reportable to Public Health

A student with mumps should be excluded from school until 5 days past the onset of parotid gland swelling. 

Any case of mumps should be reported to Ventura County Public Health.

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