The symptoms of mumps usually develop 14 to 25 days after becoming infected with the mumps virus (this delay is known as the incubation period). The average incubation period is around 17 days.


Mumps is an infection that causes painful swellings in the sides of your face. It usually gets better on its own, but can make some people very ill.


The main symptom of mumps is swollen glands on either side of your face. It usually takes about 2 or 3 weeks for symptoms to appear.


Mumps is spread through coughs and sneezes. A person is most contagious a few days before the symptoms appear and for a few days afterwards.


The MMR vaccine can prevent mumps. The vaccine is given as part of the routine NHS childhood vaccinations.


Always see a GP if you think you or your child has mumps. They may suggest things like rest, fluids and painkillers to relieve the symptoms.

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2018
Next review due: 13/07/2021