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What is Mumps?

Page last updated 14 December 2021

Mumps is a contagious viral infection.

The mumps virus is spread by coughing or sneezing, and through saliva. Symptoms can include feeling tired, fever, headache and the classic symptom of swollen salivary glands. Rarely, complications of infection may occur.

Mumps was traditionally a common childhood infection. In Australia, the disease is uncommon in children due to routine vaccination. Cases are still reported worldwide, with recent outbreaks in Australia. Most cases of mumps reported in Australia now occur in adolescents and adults.  

Like measles, there is no specific treatment for mumps, but bed rest, fluids, and paracetamol may help. Infected persons should remain isolated to decrease the risk of spreading the virus.

Sources & Citations

  1. NSW Government. Mumps Fact Sheet. Available at: (accessed 16 November 2021).
  2. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Mumps. Available at: (accessed 16 November 2021).
  3. Australian Government, Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Mumps. Available at: (accessed 16 November 2021).

MAT-AU-2102446   Date of preparation December 2021