Mumps is an infection caused by a viral disease called paramyxovirus and most commonly affects the salivary glands and the parotid glands

At which age are children affected?

Mumps rarely affects babies - this is due to maternal antibodies. Anyone can catch Mumps, especially those not vaccinated, including adults. It most commonly affects children from the age of 3, but generally between 5 and 10 years of age.


The symptoms caused by mumps last between 5 to 15 days. After an incubation period of 21 days, the primary symptoms appear. The intensity of the symptoms is variable and some can have no symptoms at all.
  • Pains in the ears and when chewing.
  • A swelling under each ear and at the back of the jaw.
  • Difficulties in opening the mouth and eating.
  • A fever
  • Headaches

Consult your GP so that he can confirm the diagnosis

Treatment of mumps

  • Bed rest
  • There are no drugs to treat this viral infection.
  • Treat the fever, any aches and pains with the paracetamol and ibuprofen.
  • Do not give Aspirin.
  • Vaccination is essential to prevent the risk of catching the disease


Complications are rare but can be serious


Orchitis is an inflammation of the testicles, which may cause sterility. This complication is more common in adult males. Orchitis occurs 5 days after the swollen glands starts. It usually affect one testicle but can affect both. Rest is important for one or two days. Good supportive underwear is necessary to prevent the testicles from hanging loose, which can make the inflammation worse.

Other complications

  • The oophritis is an inflammation of the ovaries, which can rarely cause sterility
  • The pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
  • Meningitis and encephalitis, which can be fatal.
  • The hearing nerve can be affected and this can cause a temporary or permanent deafness.
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