Boy having medical examination by paediatrician

Featured services

  • Immunization Clinics

  • Community Care Facilities Licensing

Signs of the mumps

It usually takes two to three weeks to get symptoms after you have been exposed to the virus. This is called the incubation period. Some people who are infected with the mumps virus don't have any symptoms.

If you have more serious symptoms, such as a stiff neck or a severe headache, painful testicles, or severe belly pain, call your doctor right away.

Symptoms of the mumps

  • Swelling and pain in the jaw (One or both cheeks may look swollen)
  • Fever
  • Headache, earache, sore throat, and pain when you swallow or open your mouth
  • Tiredness, with aching in the muscles and joints
  • Poor appetite and vomiting

How to prevent the mumps

Mumps is a vaccine-preventable disease

Mumps vaccine is provided free to healthy children, aged one year and older, as part of routine immunization. It is given in a shot that also includes vaccine against measles and rubella (MMR). MMR vaccine is also provided free to older children and adults, born after 1970, who have not had mumps disease or mumps vaccine. Two doses of a mumps vaccine are recommended for best protection.

Are you protected?

  • If you were born after January 1, 1970, you need to have two doses of mumps-containing vaccine to be protected
  • If you were born before 1970 or know that you have had mumps infection, you are considered protected.

If you are not sure if you have complete protection, it is safe for you to receive another dose of MMR vaccine.

How does the mumps spread?

Mumps is spread by contact with saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus spreads through droplets in the air. You can be exposed to the virus even if you are two meters away from someone with mumps. Sharing food, drinks or cigarettes, or kissing someone who has the virus can also put you at risk.

You can spread the virus seven days before and for nine days after symptoms start. You are most likely to spread the virus one to two days before and five days after symptoms start.

What to do if you have the mumps

If you think you have mumps disease, stay home from work and social events. Contact your doctor before going to the clinic to avoid infecting other patients and office staff. 

Mumps resources

More on this topic

Diseases to report