Mumps is a highly infectious serious illness caused by a virus. It usually starts with fever and headache for a day or two. In most cases this is followed by swelling and soreness of the glands between the ear and the jaw.

Mumps virus can also cause other problems. Men can get swollen, painful testicles and women can get swollen, painful ovaries. Ear infections, swelling of the pancreas and meningitis can also result. Mumps is usually more severe in adults than in young children.

The time from becoming infected to becoming unwell is around 14-21 days. People with mumps are most infectious just before they become unwell and for 5-10 days afterwards.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Students coming to university or college should make sure they have had two doses of MMR vaccine
  • If you have not had two doses of MMR, please see your GP as soon as possible
  • Please tell the doctor or nurse if you think you may be pregnant or if you are planning a pregnancy as MMR vaccine is not recommended in pregnancy
  • You should not be charged for this vaccine

What should you do if you think you might have mumps?

  • Do not go into university or college
  • Phone your GP or student occupational health service for advice