Usually affecting children, mumps is highly contagious is the most common symptom is a swelling of the glands.


Mumps is a contagious viral infection that used to be common in children before the introduction of the MMR vaccine. It’s most recognisable by the painful swellings at the side of the face under the ears (the parotid glands), giving a person with mumps a distinctive “hamster face” appearance. Other symptoms of mumps include headaches, joint pain and a high temperature, which may develop a few days before the swelling of the parotid glands.


Symptoms of mumps can develop between 15 and 24 days after being infected. Swelling of the glands is the most common symptom of mumps and are located on either side of the face, just below the ears. usually both glands are affected but in some cases only one gland may be affected. The swelling also causes additional symptoms such as a feeling of pain in the swollen glands and pain on swallowing.

Other symptoms

May include headaches, joint pain, nausea, dry mouth, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, a high temperature or fatigue. Exclusion period Eight days from when swelling begins.

Read more about this illness at the NHS website.