Mumps is a viral infection of the parotid glands. These glands are on the side of the face near the ear.
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Mumps is caused by a virus. It is spread through contact with an infected person's saliva.
Things that may raise the risk of mumps are:
- Living or traveling to places where mumps are common
- Being exposed to someone with mumps
- Being in crowded settings, such as a college dorm
- No history of mumps immunization
- Having a weakened immune system, even if a person has been vaccinated
Not all people with mumps have symptoms. People who do will have symptoms two to three weeks after exposure. A person with mumps may have:
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.
Blood tests may be done.
There is no treatment for mumps. Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Mumps will last about 10 to 12 days. The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms. Choices are:
- Supportive care, such as gargling with warm salt water and drinking plenty of fluids
- Medicines to ease pain and fever, such as acetaminophen
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Pink Book. 13th edition. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2015.
- Mumps. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mumps.
- Mumps. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/mumps.
- Mumps. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sick/mumps.html.
- Mumps. Immunization Action Committee website. Available at: http://www.vaccineinformation.org/mumps.
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