Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Call your family doctor if you or your child has signs and symptoms common to mumps. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

Information to gather in advance

  • Pre-appointment restrictions. Ask if there are any restrictions you or your child should follow before the appointment, such as staying isolated from others so as not to spread infection.
  • Symptom history. Write down any symptoms you or your child has had, and for how long.
  • Recent exposure to possible sources of infection. Try to remember if you or your child has been exposed to someone with mumps signs and symptoms in the last few weeks.
  • Key medical information. Include any other health problems and the names of any medications, supplements and vitamins you or your child is taking.
  • Questions to ask your doctor. Write down your questions so you can make the most of your time with your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor about mumps include:

  • What is the most likely cause of these signs and symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend?
  • How soon should symptoms improve?
  • Are there any home remedies or self-care steps that could help relieve symptoms?
  • Am I or is my child contagious? For how long?
  • What steps should we take to reduce the risk of infecting others?

Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have about your or your child's condition.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:

  • What signs and symptoms have you noticed?
  • When did you first notice these signs and symptoms?
  • Have these signs and symptoms gotten worse over time?
  • Do symptoms include abdominal pain or, in males, testicular pain?
  • Has anyone else you know had signs and symptoms common to mumps within the last few weeks?
  • Are you and your child current on your vaccinations?
  • Are you or your child currently being treated or have you recently been treated for any other medical conditions?
  • What medications are you or your child currently taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as vitamins and supplements?
  • Is your child in school or child care?
  • Are you pregnant or breast-feeding?

What you can do in the meantime

While you wait for your appointment, you may be able to ease symptoms with cold compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). However, don't give aspirin to a child who has a viral illness because aspirin has been associated with the development of Reye's syndrome, which can be serious.

Rest as much as possible, and avoid contact with others until you've seen the doctor. Mumps is highly contagious within about the first week after symptoms first appear.

Aug. 12, 2015