doctor examining young girl

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands (often referred to as parotitis when the parotid gland, located in front and below the ear, swells). This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.

Mumps Outbreaks

Even though the vaccine has drastically reduced mumps cases, outbreaks still occur. Outbreaks have most commonly occurred among groups of people who have prolonged, close contact, such as sharing water bottles or cups, kissing, practicing sports together, or living in close quarters, with a person who has mumps. Some vaccinated people may still get mumps if they are exposed to the virus. However, disease symptoms are milder in vaccinated people.

Make sure you are protected against mumps with measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

See Mumps Cases and Outbreaks.

Protect against Mumps
Group of smiling multiage children running outdoors holding hands.

MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is the best way to protect against mumps.

If you think you or someone in your family may have mumps, let your doctor know right away.