Communicable Diseases



  • Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus.
  • Mumps is transmitted by respiratory secretions.
  • The most common symptom of mumps is the swelling of the parotid glands (salivary) located below your ears.
  • There are currently no medications to treat the mumps virus, and treatment focuses on relieving symptoms.
  • Mumps vaccine is given as a community vaccination for the prevention of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR vaccine).​

Mumps is a contagious disease of the parotid glands (one of three pairs of salivary glands between the ears and jaw), causing swelling in part or all of the parotid glands.

Other names:
Parotitis - Epidemic parotitis - Abu Kaab.

Transmission of mumps virus to the body.

Ways of Transmission:
Mumps is transmitted by respiratory secretions (saliva of the infected person) in the following ways: 
  • Spreading of cough or sneezing spray from an infected person to a healthy person.
  • Sharing utensils and cups with infected person. 

Symptoms usually appear about two to three weeks after exposure to the virus and the most common symptom is swollen mumps (salivary glands) either one or both sides, or other symptoms include: 
  • Fever.
  • Headache. 
  • Muscle aches.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Pain while chewing or swallowing.
Mumps are no longer a common disease, and the abovementioned symptoms may indicate another disease such as tonsillitis.

When to see a doctor? 
See your doctor if you suspect that your child has the abovementioned symptoms.

  • Clinical examination.
  • Lab screening: blood test and virus cultivation. 

  • Swollen ovaries.
  • Swollen testicles.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Viral meningitis.

There are currently no medications to treat the mumps virus, and treatment focuses on relieving symptoms until the immune system manages to fight off the infection.

  • Washing hands with soap and water regularly.
  • Use napkins to cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and then dispose in the trash.
  • Keep away from children.
  • Do not go to school or work for five days or more after the onset of symptoms.

Patient instructions:
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Take pain relievers.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid acidic drinks as they stimulate saliva production.
  • Apply warm or cold compresses to relieve pain.
  • Eat foods that do not require a lot of chewing.

In general, a person is considered to be safe if he has been previously infected or been vaccinated in advance. The vaccine is usually given as a community vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR vaccine). Two doses are recommended before school, the first one at 12 months of age and the second at 18 months. 

Contraindications to the MMR vaccine:
  • Pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant within the next four weeks.
  • Highly sensitive to gelatin or neomycin antibiotic.
  • Those with weakened immune system or those who take oral steroids.

  • Dose taking vaccine separately reduce side effects?
    • No.
  • Is it ok to give children only one dose?
    • The MMR vaccine is two doses.

Myths & Realities:
  • Myth:Having the disease is safer than taking vaccine.
    • Reality: Taking vaccine reduces complications. 
  • Myth: Giving children multiple vaccinations at the same time can overload the immune system.
    • Reality: There are no side effects from combination vaccines.
  • Myth: According to a study vaccine causes autism.
    • Reality: Recent studies have denied it. 
Clinical Education General Department
For inquiries, contact us by email.​

Last Update : 24 March 2020 08:28 AM
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