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Mumps is a contagious disease caused by the mumps virus.  The most commonly known presentation is with pain and swelling around the parotid glands, which are along the jaw line.  Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, or tiredness.  Some people may have mild or no symptoms, however others occasionally have complications such as inflammation of the testicles (orchitis), brain/spinal cord/lining (encephalitis/meningitis), or ovaries (oophoritis), and/or deafness.  Reports of mumps outbreaks have been increasing since 2015, particularly in settings in which persons have close, prolonged contact, such as universities or close-knit communities.

Mumps is transmitted through mucus or droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person or from contaminated items or surfaces.  There is no specific treatment for mumps but a safe and effective vaccine (usually given as a combination measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine) is available to prevent mumps.  MMR is part of the routine immunization schedule for children as well as adolescents and adults who are not up-to-date.  Age appropriate MMR vaccination is required for child care, preschool, and grade school entry in California.  A third dose of mumps-virus containing vaccine may be recommended by public health in outbreak settings to improve protection against mumps and its complications.



Mumps is reportable in Orange County within seven (7) calendar days of identification.  To report a case, health care providers/facilities should call OCHCA Epidemiology at 714-834-8180, fax reports to 714-560-4050, or mail to P.O. Box 6128, Santa Ana, CA  92706-0128.

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What can I do to protect myself?

Mumps vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps. All children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. The minimum interval between the two doses is four weeks.  Teens also should be up-to-date with two doses of MMR vaccine.  Adults who have not been vaccinated or have do not have evidence of immunity should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Adults who are at particular risk for exposure to mumps should make sure that they have received two MMR doses. This includes adults who work in healthcare or are in a school/university setting, who plan to travel internationally, or who are in a community experiencing a mumps outbreak get two doses of MMR. Pregnant women and persons with severely impaired immune systems should not receive MMR vaccine. Pregnant women who need the vaccine should wait until after giving birth.  See for more information.

Contact your healthcare provider to discuss whether or not you or your child should be vaccinated, or call the Orange County Public Health Referral Line at 1-800-564-8448 to find out where you or your child can get vaccinated.


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For more information, see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website

Page Last Updated: November 8, 2019