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Diseases > Mumps
Mumps Case Definition and Case Classification

Information on this page was adapted from the Vaccine-Preventable Disease Surveillance Manual, 3rd Edition, 2002, Chapter 7, Mumps: p.3.


Mumps Case Definition and Case Classification

The following case definition for mumps was approved by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) in 1999.

Clinical case definition
An illness with acute onset of unilateral or bilateral tender, self-limited swelling of the parotid or other salivary gland, lasting 2 or more days, and without other apparent cause.

Laboratory criteria for diagnosis

  • Positive serologic test for mumps immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody, or
  • Significant rise between acute- and convalescent-phase titers in serum mumps immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody level by any standard serologic assay, or
  • Isolation of mumps virus from clinical specimen, or
  • Detection of viral antigen by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)

Case classification

Probable: A case that meets the clinical case definition, has noncontributory or no serologic or virologic testing, and is not epidemiologically linked to a confirmed or probable case.

Confirmed: A case that is laboratory confirmed or that meets the clinical case definition and is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed or probable case. A laboratory-confirmed case does not need to meet the clinical case definition.

Comment. False-positive IgM results by immunofluorescent antibody assays have been reported.


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This page last modified on April 28, 2006


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