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What is Mumps?

Page last updated 09 April 2020

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.

accurate, as the rates are still very low.

Sources & Citations

2. NSW Government. Mumps Fact Sheet. Available at: (accessed 13 March 2020).

3. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Mumps. Available at: (accessed 13 March 2020).

4. Australian Government, Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Mumps. Available at: (accessed 13 March 2020).

6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe S, eds. 13th ed. Washington D.C. Public Health Foundation, 2015.

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0135(1) - Date of preparation April 2020