Information on Mumps

  • Cases of mumps have recently been identified in Virginia, particularly among college-aged students. Local health department staff have been investigating these cases to determine epidemiologic links between them.
  • Mumps is an acute viral illness most often characterized by parotitis (swelling of the salivary glands), orchitis (swelling of the testes), or oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) unexplained by a more likely diagnosis. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, myalgia, anorexia, malaise, and headache. However, mumps infection may present as only nonspecific or primary respiratory symptoms and up to 20% of infections are asymptomatic.
  • The incubation period for mumps is roughly 18 days (range 12-25 days) and individuals are infectious from 3 days before until 5 days after the onset of parotitis.
  • While two-dose vaccination with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps infection, the vaccine is not 100 percent effective.
  • If you are experiencing signs/symptoms of mumps, please contact your health care provider.
  • Local health departments also offer many routine vaccinations. Contact your local health department for more information.
  • A fact sheet on mumps may be found at