From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses of the word mumps, see Mumps (disambiguation).
Mumps PHIL 130 lores.jpg
Child with mumps
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 B26
ICD-9 072
DiseasesDB 8449
MedlinePlus 001557
eMedicine emerg/324 emerg/391 ped/1503
NCI Mumps
Patient UK Mumps
MeSH D009107

Mumps (epidemic parotitis) is a highly infectious, self-limited viral disease caused by the mumps virus. Fever, painful swelling of the parotid glands, muscle pain, headache and feeling tired are common initial symptoms. Up to 48 hours later, painful swelling of the salivary glands – classically the parotid gland – usually occurs and is the most typical presentation found in up to 95% of cases.[1] Painful testicular swelling which can cause sterility and rash may also occur. Symptoms in adults are often more severe than in children.

Mumps is highly contagious and is able to spread rapidly among people living in close quarters. The virus is transmitted by respiratory droplets, direct contact, or contaminated objects.[2] Symptoms typically occur usually 14 to 18 days after exposure and patients are infectious a few days before the onset of symptoms. [3]

The disease is generally self-limiting, running its course before receding, with no specific treatment apart from controlling the symptoms with pain medication and medications to reduce fevers such as acetaminophen. Hospitalization may be required if meningitis or pancreatitis develops. After the illness, lifelong immunity to mumps generally occurs; reinfection is possible but tends to be mild and atypical.[4]

Mumps is preventable by vaccination, and since its use cases in the United States have declined by 96%.[5] Before the development of vaccination and the introduction of a vaccine, mumps was a common childhood disease worldwide. It is still common in developing countries and outbreaks occur occasionally in developed countries.[6]

Signs and symptoms[edit]

Mumps is usually preceded by a set of prodromal symptoms including low-grade fever, headache, and malaise.[7] This is followed by progressive swelling of one or both parotid glands.[7] Parotid gland swelling usually lasts about one week.[7] Other symptoms of mumps can include dry mouth, sore face and/or ears and some patients find it difficult to talk.[6]


  • Painful testicular inflammation develops in 15-40% of men who have completed puberty and contract the mumps virus.[7] This testicular inflammation is generally one-sided (both testes are swollen in 15-30% of mumps orchitis cases) and typically occurs about 10 days after the parotid gland.[7] Testicular swelling has been documented as late as six weeks after parotid gland swelling.[7] Subfertility is an uncommon consequence of testicular inflammation from mumps and infertility is rare.[7]
  • Studies have reached differing conclusions regarding whether or not infection with the mumps virus during pregnancy leads to an increased rate of spontaneous abortion.[1]
  • Meningitis occurs in up to 10% of cases[4] (40% of cases occur without parotid swelling)
  • Ovarian inflammation occurs in about 5% of adolescent and adult females,[4] but fertility is affected in almost half of these 5%.
  • Acute pancreatic inflammation in about 4% of cases, manifesting as abdominal pain and vomiting
  • Encephalitis (very rare, and fatal in about 1% of the cases when it occurs)[4]
  • Profound (91 dB or more) but rare sensorineural hearing loss, uni- or bilateral. Acute unilateral deafness occurs in about 0.005% of cases.[4]


The mumps virus is an enveloped single-stranded, linear negative-sense RNA virus of the Rubulavirus genus and Paramyxovirus family. The genome consists of 15,384 bases encoding nine proteins. Proteins involved in viral replication are the nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and polymerase protein while the genomic RNA forms the ribonucleocapsid. [8] [1][7] Humans are the only natural host for the virus.

Mumps is spread from person to person through contact with respiratory secretions, such as saliva from an infected person.[7] When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the droplets aerosolize and can enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person. Mumps can also be spread by sharing food and drinks. The virus can also survive on surfaces and then be spread after contact in a similar manner. A person infected with mumps is contagious from approximately 7 days before the onset of symptoms until about 8 days after symptoms start.[9] The incubation period (time until symptoms begin) can be from 12–25 days, but is typically 16–18 days.[9] 20-40% of persons infected with the mumps virus do not show symptoms, so it is possible to be infected and spread the virus without knowing it.[9]


During an outbreak, a diagnosis can be made by determining recent exposure and parotitis. However when the disease incidence is low, other infectious causes of parotitis should be considered such as HIV, coxsackievirus and influenza. Some viruses such as enteroviruses may cause aseptic meningitis that is very clinically similar to mumps. [10]

A physical examination confirms the presence of the swollen glands. Usually, the disease is diagnosed on clinical grounds, and no confirmatory laboratory testing is needed. If there is uncertainty about the diagnosis, a test of saliva or blood may be carried out; a newer diagnostic confirmation, using real-time nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, has also been developed.[11] As with any inflammation of the salivary glands, the serum level of the enzyme amylase is often elevated.[12][13]


The most common preventative measure against mumps is a vaccination with a mumps vaccine, invented by American microbiologist Maurice Hilleman at Merck.[14][15] The vaccine may be given separately or as part of the MMR immunization vaccine that also protects against measles and rubella. In the US, MMR is now being supplanted by MMRV, which adds protection against chickenpox (varicella, HHV3). The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends the use of mumps vaccines in all countries with well-functioning childhood vaccination programmes. In the United Kingdom it is routinely given to children at age 13 months with a booster at 3–5 years (preschool) This confers lifelong[citation needed] immunity. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the routine administration of MMR vaccine at ages 12–15 months and at 4–6 years.[16] In some locations, the vaccine is given again between 4 to 6 years of age, or between 11 and 12 years of age if not previously given. The efficacy of the vaccine depends on the strain of the vaccine, but is usually around 80%.[17][18] The Jeryl Lynn strain is most commonly used in developed countries but has been shown to have reduced efficacy in epidemic situations. The Leningrad-Zagreb strain commonly used in developing countries appears to have superior efficacy in epidemic situations.[19]

Because of the outbreaks within college and university settings, many governments have established vaccination programs to prevent large-scale outbreaks. In Canada, provincial governments and the Public Health Agency of Canada have all participated in awareness campaigns to encourage students ranging from grade 1 to college and university to get vaccinated.[20]

Some anti-vaccine activists protest against the administration of a vaccine against mumps, claiming that the attenuated vaccine strain is harmful, and/or that the wild disease is beneficial. There is no evidence whatsoever to support the claim that the wild disease is beneficial, or that the MMR vaccine is harmful. Claims have been made that the MMR vaccine is linked to autism and inflammatory bowel disease, including one study by Andrew Wakefield[21][22] (the paper was discredited and retracted in 2010 and Wakefield was later stripped of his license after his work was found to be an "elaborate fraud" [23]) that indicated a link between gastrointestinal disease, autism, and the MMR vaccine. Also, subsequent studies indicate no link between vaccination with the MMR and autism.[24] Since the dangers of the disease are well known, and the dangers of the vaccine are quite minimal, most doctors recommend vaccination.

The WHO, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the British Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain currently recommend routine vaccination of children against mumps. The British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain had previously recommended against general mumps vaccination, changing that recommendation in 1987.

Before the introduction of the mumps vaccine, the mumps virus was the leading cause of viral meningoencephalitis in the United States. However, encephalitis occurs rarely (less than 2 per 100,000).[25] In one of the largest studies in the literature, the most common symptoms of mumps meningoencephalitis were found to be fever (97%), vomiting (94%) and headache (88.8%).[26] The mumps vaccine was introduced into the United States in December 1967: since its introduction there has been a steady decrease in the incidence of mumps and mumps virus infection. There were 151,209 cases of mumps reported in 1968. From 2001 to 2008, the case average was only 265 per year, excluding an outbreak of >6000 cases in 2006 attributed largely to university contagion in young adults.[27][28]


There is no available cure for mumps and treatment is supportive.[7] Symptoms may be relieved by the application of intermittent ice or heat to the affected neck/testicular area and by acetaminophen for pain relief.[7] Warm saltwater gargles, soft foods, and extra fluids may also help relieve symptoms. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is not used to treat children due to the risk of Reye's syndrome.[29]

There is no effective post-exposure recommendation to prevent secondary transmission, nor is the post-exposure use of vaccine or immunoglobulin effective.[30]

Mumps is considered most contagious in the five days after the onset of symptoms, and isolation is recommended during this period. In someone who has been admitted to hospital, standard and droplet precautions are needed. People who work in healthcare cannot work for five days.[9]



  1. ^ a b c Hviid A, Rubin S, Mühlemann K (March 2008). "Mumps". The Lancet 371 (9616): 932–44. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60419-5. PMID 18342688. 
  2. ^ Gupta, RK; Best, J; MacMahon, E (14 May 2005). "Mumps and the UK epidemic 2005.". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 330 (7500): 1132–5. PMID 15891229. 
  3. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) (14 April 2006). "Exposure to mumps during air travel--United States, April 2006.". MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 55 (14): 401–2. PMID 16617290. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Senanayake SN (2008). "Mumps: a resurgent disease with protean manifestations". Med J Aust 189 (8): 456–9. PMID 18928441. 
  5. ^ Roush, SW; Murphy, TV; Vaccine-Preventable Disease Table Working, Group (14 November 2007). "Historical comparisons of morbidity and mortality for vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States.". JAMA 298 (18): 2155–63. PMID 18000199. 
  6. ^ a b Kasper DL, Braunwald E, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Longo DL, Jameson JL, Isselbacher KJ, Eds. (2004). Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine (16th ed.). McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 0-07-140235-7. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Davis NF, McGuire BB, Mahon JA, Smyth AE, O'Malley KJ, Fitzpatrick JM (April 2010). "The increasing incidence of mumps orchitis: a comprehensive review". BJU International 105 (8): 1060–5. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2009.09148.x. PMID 20070300. 
  8. ^ al.], ed. Dan L. Longo ... [et (2012). Harrison's principles of internal medicine. (18th ed. ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07174889-6. 
  9. ^ a b c d Kutty PK, Kyaw MH, Dayan GH, Brady MT, Bocchini JA, Reef SE, Bellini WJ, Seward JF (15 June 2010). "Guidance for isolation precautions for mumps in the United States: a review of the scientific basis for policy change". Clinical Infectious Diseases 50 (12): 1619–28. doi:10.1086/652770. PMID 20455692. 
  10. ^ al.], ed. Dan L. Longo ... [et (2012). Harrison's principles of internal medicine. (18th ed. ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07174889-6. 
  11. ^ Krause CH, Eastick K, Ogilvie MM (November 2006). "Real-time PCR for mumps diagnosis on clinical specimens--comparison with results of conventional methods of virus detection and nested PCR". J. Clin. Virol. 37 (3): 184–9. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2006.07.009. PMID 16971175. 
  12. ^ Amylase: The Test, Lab Tests Online UK
  13. ^ Skrha J, Stĕpán J, Sixtová E (October 1979). "Amylase isoenzymes in mumps". Eur. J. Pediatr. 132 (2): 99–105. doi:10.1007/BF00447376. PMID 499265. 
  14. ^ Offit PA (2007). Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases. Washington, DC: Smithsonian. ISBN 0-06-122796-X. 
  15. ^ Buynak EB, Weibel RE, Whitman JE Jr, Stokes J Jr, Hilleman MR (March 1969). Combined live measles, mumps, and rubella virus vaccines. JAMA 207 (12). pp. 2259–62. PMID 5818433. 
  16. ^ MMR Vaccine (PDF), Vaccine Information Statement, United States: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 20, 2012, p. 1, retrieved February 22, 2013 
  17. ^ Schlegel M, Osterwalder JJ, Galeazzi RL, Vernazza PL (1999). "Comparative efficacy of three mumps vaccines during disease outbreak in eastern Switzerland: cohort study". BMJ 319 (7206): 352. doi:10.1136/bmj.319.7206.352. PMC 32261. PMID 10435956. 
  18. ^ "Summary". WHO: Mumps vaccine. Retrieved 2006-04-18. 
  19. ^ Peltola H, Kulkarni PS, Kapre SV, Paunio M, Jadhav SS, Dhere RM (August 2007). "Mumps outbreaks in Canada and the United States: time for new thinking on mumps vaccines". Clin. Infect. Dis. 45 (4): 459–66. doi:10.1086/520028. PMID 17638194. 
  20. ^ Table 2: Provincial and Territorial recommendations for mumps-containing immunization, 2007, Information on Outbreaks of Mumps In Canada - Information for Health Professionals, Public Health Agency Canada
  21. ^ "Autism and Andrew Wakefield". Immunization. American Academy of Pediatrics. 30 October 2013. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Causes of Autism". aboutHealth. 
  23. ^ Cohen, Elizabeth;Falco, Miriam (5 January 2011). "Retracted autism study an 'elaborate fraud,' British journal finds". CNN. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  24. ^ Demicheli V, Rivetti A, Debalini MG, Di Pietrantonj C (2012). "Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children". Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2: CD004407. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004407.pub3. PMID 22336803. 
  25. ^ Atkinson W, Humiston S, Wolfe C, Nelson R (Editors). (2006). Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (9th ed.). Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Fulltext. 
  26. ^ Kanra G, Isik P, Kara A, Cengiz AB, Seçmeer G, Ceyhan M (2004). "Complementary findings in clinical and epidemiologic features of mumps and mumps meningoencephalitis in children without mumps vaccination". Pediatr Int 46 (6): 663–8. doi:10.1111/j.1442-200x.2004.01968.x. PMID 15660864. 
  27. ^ McNabb SJ, Jajosky RA, Hall-Baker PA, Adams DA, Sharp P, Worshams C, Anderson WJ, Javier AJ, Jones GJ, Nitschke DA, Rey A, Wodajo MS (March 2008). "Summary of notifiable diseases--United States, 2006". MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 55 (53): 1–92. PMID 18354375. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  28. ^ Susan Brink (April 14, 2008), "Mumps despite shots", Los Angeles Times, retrieved February 22, 2013 
  29. ^ "Mumps - National Library of Medicine - Pubmed Health". Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "Mumps Clinical Information - Minnesota Dept. of Health". 

External links[edit]