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What is Mumps?

Page last updated 02 July 2018

Mumps is a very contagious viral infection.

The mumps virus is spread by coughing or sneezing and through saliva. Symptoms are generally mild and can include feeling tired, fever, headache and the classic symptom of swollen salivary glands. Rare 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. High rates now occur in adolescents and adults. 

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

Sources & Citations

  1. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition. 4.11 Mumps. Available at (accessed 4 April 2018).
  2. NSW Government. Department of Health. Mumps Fact Sheet. Available at (accessed 4 April 2018).
  3. Victorian Government. Better Health Channel. Mumps. Available at (accessed 4 April 2018).
  4. Centers for Disease Control. Mumps Home. Available at (accessed 4 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0135a - Date of preparation May 2018