Mumps is a viral illness caused by a paramyxovirus. Transmission is by direct contact with saliva or droplets from the saliva of an infected person.
Early symptoms include a headache and fever characterised by swelling of the parotid glands which may be one or two sided. Other symptoms include pancreatitis, neuritis, arthritis, mastitis, nephritis, thyroiditis and pericarditis. Mumps is rarely fatal but complications include swelling of the ovaries (oophoritis), swelling of the testes (orchitis), aseptic meningitis and deafness.
Mumps is a notifiable disease in England and Wales.
Mumps is vaccine preventable. In the UK children receive 2 doses of the combined measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule.
For more information about mumps, visit NHS Choices.