The most common symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, and loss of appetite followed by swelling of the salivary glands under the ears-- on one or both sides (known as parotitis). Symptoms usually appear between 12 and 25 days after exposure to the virus. However, about one-third of infected people do not have symptoms. Parotitis occurs only in 30%-40% of individuals infected with mumps.
Mumps is diagnosed by a combination of symptoms and physical signs and laboratory confirmation of the virus, as not all cases develop characteristic parotitis and not all cases of parotitis are caused by mumps.
In children, mumps is usually a mild disease. Adult service members may have a more serious form of the disease and more complications.
Serious complications of mumps are more common among adults than among children. Mumps can lead to hearing loss, aseptic meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) in about 10% of cases, painful, swollen testicles in 20-30% of males who have reached puberty (orchitis) but rarely does this lead to fertility problems, and painful, swollen breasts in about 30% of women who have reached puberty (mastitis), and in a very few cases, inflammation of the ovaries. An increase in spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) has been found among women who developed mumps during the first trimester of pregnancy; however, there is no evidence that mumps causes birth defects. Deafness, in one or both ears, can occur in approximately one per 20,000 reported cases of mumps.
Yes. Two doses of mumps containing vaccine usually, given as a combination measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, separated by at least 28 days, are routinely recommended for children. Most adults who have not been immunized should also receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Adults who work in healthcare, schools, or those at high risk of exposure to mumps should receive two doses. There is also a vaccine that protects only against mumps .
The mumps vaccine currently used was licensed in 1967.
The mumps vaccine is a live attenuated (weakened) virus. It is recommended that mumps vaccine be given as part of the MMR vaccine (protecting against measles, mumps, and rubella).
Mumps vaccine is recommended for all U.S. children and for susceptible adolescents and adults without documented evidence of immunity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) have all recommended this vaccine.
Fever is the most common reaction, occurring in 5%-15% of vaccine recipients. About 5% of persons develop a mild rash. About 25% of adult women receiving MMR vaccine develop temporary joint symptoms such as pain, redness, or swelling. More severe reactions, including allergic reactions, are rare.
Mumps is a very safe vaccine. Most side effects are mild and related to the measles or rubella components of the MMR vaccine (fever, rash, temporary joint symptoms).