Disease & Vaccine Information

Mumps Disease & Vaccine Information

Find Information You Need to Make Informed Vaccine Decisions
Updated September 10, 2022

mumps disease
Image source: CDC PHIL

Mumps: The Disease

Mumps virus is a contagious paramyxovirus that is comprised of a single-stranded RNA genome.  Respiratory secretions transmit the virus and the infection begins in the nasopharynx and regional lymph nodes. After exposure, it generally takes 12 to 25 days for symptoms to develop.  These symptoms typically include headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite.  During this time, the virus is present in the blood and spreads throughout the body’s tissues.  Parotitis, swelling of the parotid gland on one or both sides of the face under the ears and chin, is the most common clinical feature of a mumps infection, and typically occurs within the first two days.  Up to 30 percent of people infected with mumps will have no symptoms of infection and up to 50 percent may exhibit signs of a mild nonspecific illness. 

Mumps is generally a mild disease in childhood, but it can result in complications, though mostly in adults.  Complications of mumps include inflammation of the testicles in males, inflammation of the breast tissue and ovaries in females, meningitis, encephalitis, and loss of hearing. Fertility problems following mumps infection are rare.  Mumps rarely results in death  and most people recover from mump infection within a few weeks.  Learn more about Mumps…

Mumps Vaccine

There are two mumps containing vaccines available for use in the United States - MMRII  - a combination mumps-mumps-rubella(MMR) live virus vaccine and ProQuad  -  a combination mumps-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMR-V) live virus vaccine. Currently, the CDC recommends that children receive two doses of a mumps containing vaccine, with the first dose between the ages 12-15 months, and the second dose between the ages 4-6 years.  The CDC also recommends that individuals born after 1957 and have no laboratory evidence of immunity or documentation of vaccination should receive at least one dose of MMR vaccine.  Two doses of MMR vaccine are also recommended for healthcare personnel, students entering college and other post-high school educational institutions, as well as international travelers. 

The CDC also recommends MMR vaccination for infants between 6 and 12 months of age who may be traveling internationally.  However, both ProQuad  and MMRII  have been approved only for use in for children older than 12 months of age.  Learn more about Mumps vaccine…

Mumps Quick Facts


  • Mumps is a contagious viral infection and symptoms begin with a headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite . A stiff neck just before, during or after mumps infection is a sign that aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) may have developed, which is a rare complication of mumps ;
  • The typical “signature” physical sign of mumps is visible swelling of one or both sides of the face under the ears and chin.  Males, who are past puberty, can experience pain and extreme swelling of the testes and rarely, become sterile.  Mumps is very rarely fatal.  Continue reading quick facts…

Mumps Vaccine

  • Currently there are two mumps containing vaccines available in the U.S.  MMR II,  manufactured by Merck, containing live attenuated mumps, mumps, and rubella; and ProQuad (MMR-V),  also manufactured by Merck, containing live attenuated mumps, mumps, rubella, and varicella.  The CDC recommends that children get two doses of a Mumps containing vaccine with the first dose given between ages 12-15 months, and the second dose given between ages 4-6 years; 
  • Common side effects from the MMR or MMR-V vaccine include low-grade fever, skin rash, itching, hives, swelling, reddening of skin, and weakness. Reported serious adverse reactions following MMR and MMR-V vaccination include seizures, brain inflammation and encephalopathy; thrombocytopenia; joint, muscle and nerve pain; gastrointestinal disorders; mumps like rash; conjunctivitis and other serious health problems    Continue reading quick facts...

Learn More About Mumps and Mumps Vaccine

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NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about mumps and the mumps vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents below, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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