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What Are Mumps Symptoms?

Medically Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on December 13, 2020

Painful, swollen glands just below the ear are telltale sign of the mumps. Doctors call this “parotitis,” and it can happen on one or both sides of the face. But fewer than half of the folks who get mumps ever have this symptom.

Other people who have the virus show no symptoms or develop very minor ones. They usually start 2 to 3 weeks after you get infected and might include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Pain while chewing or swallowing

Infected people can spread it to others by:

  • Coughingsneezing, or talking
  • Sharing cups and utensils with others
  • Not properly washing their hands and touching items that other people then touch

In most cases, people who have mumps recover fully after a few weeks.

Show Sources

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Mumps.”

CDC: “Signs & Symptoms of Mumps.”

Mayo Clinic: “Mumps Symptoms.”

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