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Mumps

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.

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.

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.

Read more on the NHS website.

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.

Symptoms of mumps

Mumps is most recognisable by the painful swellings in the side of the face under the ears (the parotid glands), giving a person with mumps a distinctive "hamster face" appearance.

A child with a swollen face caused by mumps.

Other symptoms of mumps include headaches, joint pain and a high temperature, which may develop a few days before the swelling of the parotid glands.

Read more on the NHS website.

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.

Self-care

There's currently no cure for mumps, but the infection should pass within 1 or 2 weeks.

Treatment is used to relieve symptoms and includes:

  • getting plenty of bed rest and fluids
  • using painkillers, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol – aspirin should not be given to children under 16
  • applying a warm or cool compress to the swollen glands to help relieve pain

Read more on the NHS website.

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

Read more on the NHS website.

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.

Read more on the NHS website.