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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is mumps?
Mumps is an infectious viral disease that causes fevers and swollen salivary glands, mostly in children.
What are the symptoms of mumps?
The most distinctive sign of mumps is swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands. The salivary glands that are most commonly affected are the two parotid glands, located in the sides of the face. This appears in about half of all mumps infections. One or …
What causes mumps?
Mumps is caused by the mumps virus, which is easily spread by coughing or touching contaminated surfaces.
Who gets mumps?
Anyone can get mumps, but it is most often a childhood disease, with children five to nine years of age the most commonly infected. About 90% of people reach puberty already immune to mumps.
How is mumps diagnosed?
Your doctor will diagnose mumps by noting the symptoms, especially the enlarged salivary glands. That is usually enough, but blood tests (checking for the presence of the virus and for antibodies against it) can confirm the diagnosis if necessary.
Is mumps serious?
Mumps is usually not a serious condition. In rare cases, complications can be annoying and in ever rarer cases, serious or even life-threatening.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 19 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 168 (Click smiley face below to rate)