Mumps

For information and guidance on the current outbreak, please visit the mumps page from IDPH.

Mumps is an infection caused by the mumps virus. Before a routine vaccination program was introduced in the United States, mumps was a common illness in infants, children and young adults. Because most people have now been vaccinated, mumps has become a rare disease in the United States.

Mumps is reportable to the Iowa Department of Public Health by Iowa Administrative Code 641 Chapter 1.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite and swollen salivary glands under the jaw. The disease can lead to hearing loss, aseptic meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) and, in 20% to 30% of males who have reached puberty, the disease can cause painful, swollen testicles.

Causes

Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared. In addition, the virus may spread when someone with mumps touches items or surfaces without washing their hands and someone else then touches the same surface and rubs their mouth or nose.