What is Mumps?

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by:

  • coughing, sneezing, or talking,
  • sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and
  • touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.

Mumps likely spreads before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after the swelling begins.

CDC Recommendation

CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine: the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Teens and adults, check with your healthcare provider to make sure your immunizations are up to date.


  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider if you are not sure your vaccination is up to date.
  • If you’re unsure of your immunity, ask your healthcare provider for a blood test (a titer) to determine proof of immunity.
  • Keep documentation from your health care provider if you've had mumps disease.
  • Keep your vaccination records or proof of immunity in a safe place.

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