Immunisation & Vaccine Preventable Diseases

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General Information | Surveillance & Epidemiology | Vaccination


Mumps is a disease resulting from infection by mumps virus. The disease is characterised by swelling of one or both cheeks or sides of the jaw (parotitis) along with a fever, headache and swollen glands. The fever usually lasts for 1 to 6 days and the parotitis for up to 10 days, or more. Mumps infection can lead to serious complications, including aseptic meningitis (4-6 % cases), encephalitis (1 in 1000 cases), inflammation of the testes (orchitis), pancreatitis, oophoritis and permanent deafness. Neurological involvement occurs in 10-20% of cases and may precede or follow parotitis, and can also occur in its absence. Orchitis is the most common complication of mumps in adult males (4 out of 10 cases). Fulminant encephalitis is rare, but a potentially fatal complication of mumps.

The incubation period of mumps is 12-25 days and is usually 18 days with cases being infectious from approximately 6-7 days before the onset of parotitis and until 9 days after. However, infected individuals with no apparent clinical symptoms can also transmit the virus.

Vaccination with measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is the most effective strategy for preventing mumps transmission within the population.

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