Also known as: the mumps, parotitis.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a viral infection that affects the parotid glands. The parotid glands produce saliva and are located in the lower part of the face. It typically occurs in children and young adults but has been well controlled thanks to vaccinations to protect children from the illness.

What causes mumps? 

The Mumps virus is the cause of the illness. It can be spread easily from child to child through exposure to another child’s saliva and respiratory secretions.

What are the symptoms of mumps? 

The initial symptoms of the mumps can include a headache or muscle aches, fatigue, low grade fever and lack of appetite. As it progresses, the parotid glands beneath the ears and jaw become swollen and tender. These symptoms tend to last anywhere from seven to 10 days.

What are mumps care options? 

The best way to prevent mumps is to have children vaccinated to prevent the disease and its spread. If a child gets mumps, the best treatment is supportive care in the form of rest, plenty of fluids, soft foods, over-the-counter pain relievers and warm or cold compresses on the swollen face. The child should also be isolated to prevent the spread of the disease while symptoms are present.

Reviewed by: Otto M Ramos, MD

This page was last updated on: 12/22/2017 12:24:05 PM

From the Newsdesk

Zika Virus and Pregnancy: Transmission, Outcomes, and Precautions
09/16/2016 — Cases of Zika Virus have been confirmed in the U.S. Learn about Zika Virus transmission and Zika Virus pregnancy precautions from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Otto M. Ramos discusses Zika virus
08/16/2016 — Dr. Otto Ramos, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, discusses topics regarding how the Zika virus is trasmitted, diagnosed, what the symptoms are, and how to prevent infection.