Mumps

Contact(s)

Mumps is a highly contagious viral disease caused by the mumps virus.

The most common symptom of mumps is swelling of the glands that produce saliva (spit). This swelling can make the cheek or neck bulge out on one or both sides. Sometimes the virus can cause more serious complications including swelling of the testicles or ovaries, hearing loss or meningitis or encephalitis (inflammation of the fluid and tissues surrounding the brain and spine).

It can take between 12 and 25 days for symptoms to occur after you have been infected. However, you can pass the infection on to others even before you know you are sick. In fact, you are most contagious from 7 days before the symptoms begin through to 5 days after the symptoms begin.

How can I avoid getting it?

  • Make sure that you and your family members are vaccinated with 2 doses of the mumps-containing vaccine.
  • Don't share food, drinks, water bottles, towels, mouth guards, or toothbrushes.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.

I think I have mumps, what do I do?

If you, or a family member develops the symptoms of mumps, particularly swelling of the cheeks or neck, see your health care provider immediately. Make sure that you call ahead to ensure that you do not expose others to the disease.

What are the symptoms of mumps?

  • The most common symptom of mumps is swelling of the glands that produce saliva (spit). This swelling can make the cheek or neck bulge out on one or both sides.
  • Other symptoms of mumps include: fever, headache, tiredness, sore muscles, trouble talking, chewing or swallowing, or loss of appetite.
  • Symptoms can be mild or severe, and generally last 7 to 10 days.
  • Many people who get infected with the mumps virus will have very mild symptoms or not be sick at all. However, they can still spread the disease to others.

How is it spread?

Mumps is spread through close, direct contact with an infected person's mouth and nose secretions. Behaviours that can spread the virus include:

  • living in close living quarters
  • participation in sporting activities where contact with others' saliva may occur
  • kissing, coughing or sneezing
  • sharing food, drinks or eating utensils
  • sharing toothbrushes, mouth guards, towels, cigarettes, or lipstick
  • sharing mouthed toys (young children) or musical instruments with a mouthpiece.
North Bay
Parry Sound
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705-746-5801

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