Information provided by the CDC

Signs and symptoms

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. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.

For more signs & symptoms click here.


From January 1 to March 29, 2019, 34 states* and the District of Columbia in the U.S. reported mumps infections in 426** people to CDC.

Before the U.S. mumps vaccination program started in 1967, about 186,000 cases were reported each year, but the actual number of cases was likely much higher due to underreporting. Since the two-MMR dose vaccination program was introduced in 1989, U.S. mumps cases decreased more than 99%, with only a few hundred cases reported most years. However, since 2006, there have been several increases in cases and outbreaks about every 5 years

How long is a person with mumps contagious?

People with mumps are usually considered most infectious from a few days before until 5 days after the onset of parotitis. Therefore, CDC recommends isolating mumps patients for 5 days after their glands begin to swell. What should be done if someone is exposed to mumps? If the exposed person has not been vaccinated against mumps, receiving the vaccine after exposure to the virus will not help prevent disease if the person has already been infected. However, if they did not become infected after this particular exposure, the vaccine may help protect him or her against future infection with the mumps virus.

Click here for more on questions and answers you may have about mumps.

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