Mumps is a contagious illness caused by a virus that infects the salivary glands, especially the parotid glands (between the ear and the jaw), and that sometimes infects other glands, particularly the testicles. The glands become swollen and tender as a result of the infection.
Other symptoms include belly pain and flu-like problems. Mumps can affect people of all ages. In adults, symptoms may be more severe, and complications are more likely. Most people get better with rest and home care. But some people need treatment in the hospital.
Although mumps is not common, it can spread to people who have not received the mumps vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella series).
Current as of: August 21, 2015
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine & Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
Want More Information?
HealthLink BC, your provincial health line, is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year.
Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. or for deaf and hearing-impaired, call 7-1-1.
You can speak with a health service navigator, who can also connect you with a:
- registered nurse any time, every day of the year;
- registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday;
- pharmacist from 5pm to 9am, every day of the year.
Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.