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Mumps Information for Health Care Providers

What is mumps? - Mumps is an acute viral infection caused by a virus called the paramyxovirus in the genus Rubulavirus.

Who gets mumps? - Although older people do contract the disease, mumps usually occurs in children between the ages of five and 15 years. Older children are at the greatest risk of getting mumps.  Mumps is more common during winter and spring.

How is mumps spread? - Mumps is transmitted by direct contact with saliva and discharges from the nose and throat of infected individuals, which may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or eating and drinking from an infected person’s utensils.  In addition, the virus may spread when someone with mumps touches items or surfaces without washing their hands and someone else then touches the same surface and rubs their mouth or nose.

What are the symptoms of mumps? -The most common symptoms are fever, headache, and swollen salivary glands, especially in front of the ear or under the jaw, but other glands may be affected, and the disease can cause painful, swollen testicles.  Not everyone infected with mumps has all these symptoms.

How soon after infection do symptoms occur? – They may appear 12–25 days after infection, but usually within 18 days.

What complications have been associated with mumps? - Swelling of the testicles occurs in 15-25 percent of infected males. Mumps can cause central nervous system disorders such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal column). Other complications include arthritis, kidney involvement, inflammation of the thyroid gland and breasts and deafness.

When and for how long is a person able to spread mumps? - Mumps is most contagious from 2 days prior to 5 days after the onset of symptoms.

Does past infection with mumps make a person immune? - Yes. Immunity acquired after contracting the disease is usually permanent.

Is there a vaccine for mumps? - Yes. Mumps vaccine is given on or soon after a child's first birthday, with a second dose at 4-6 years of age. It is usually administered in combination with measles and rubella vaccine (MMR).  As a result of routine childhood vaccination for mumps, this disease is now very rare in the United States.

Is there a treatment for mumps?-There is no specific treatment, but supportive care can relieve some of the symptoms.

What can be done to prevent the spread of mumps?  The single most effective control measure is maintaining the highest possible level of immunization within the community. Anyone with mumps should not go back to child care, school or work until 5 days after symptoms began or until they are well, whichever is longer. Contacts to a mumps case should have their immunization status evaluated. Anyone who has not received 2 doses of a mumps-containing vaccine (preferably MMR vaccine) should be vaccinated. Persons who may have been exposed should be educated on the signs and symptoms of mumps disease and should isolate themselves and seek medical attention as soon as any of these symptoms begin.

Mumps Information from CDC:

CDC Mumps Homepage  (http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html)

CDC Mumps Vaccination Information (http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/vaccination.html)

CDC Mumps Information for Travelers (http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/travelers.html)


Mumps Outbreaks in Nebraska

2006:  Resurgence of Mumps - Outbreaks Associated with Midwestern Colleges in Multiple States (New England Journal of Medicine article)


Resources for Health Care Providers:

Notice: Mumps Exposures in Douglas County (May 3, 2017)

CDC Mumps Homepage  (http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html)

Mumps Chapter from "The Pink Book: Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases"


Selected pages in the CDC mumps site:

Information for patients (“About Mumps”) http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/about/index.html

Clinical Questions and Answers  http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/hcp.html

Laboratory testing  http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/lab/index.html

(please call DCHD at (402) 444-7214 if you suspect a case of mumps to arrange for public health testing.)

Outbreaks http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/outbreaks.html

References http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/pubs-resources/pubs-res.html

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