Diagnosis

A care provider may diagnose mumps based on typical symptoms and known exposure to mumps. Tests used to look for the virus and diagnose mumps include:

  • A test of a sample from the mouth.
  • A blood test that may show an immune system reaction to the virus.
  • A test of a sample of urine, but this is less common.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for mumps. Most people recover within 3 to 10 days.

Steps you can take to aid recovery and lessen symptoms include:

  • Rest.
  • Pain relievers that you can get without a prescription such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
  • A cold or warm cloth for swollen salivary glands.
  • A cold cloth or ice pack for swollen testicles.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids.

It's important to isolate yourself or your child during the illness to prevent spreading the infection. Avoid contact with others until at least five days after the start of swollen salivary glands.

Preparing for your appointment

What you can do

  • Write down symptoms you or your child has had, and for how long.
  • Try to remember if you or your child has been exposed to someone with signs and symptoms of mumps within the last few weeks.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that your or your child takes.
  • Write down key medical information, including other diagnosed conditions.
  • Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What's the most likely cause of these signs and symptoms?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend?
  • How soon should symptoms improve?
  • Are there are 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?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.

If you think you or your child has mumps, contact your health care provider.

What to expect from your doctor

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What symptoms have you had? When did they begin?
  • When did you first notice swelling in your face?
  • Have you had pain? Where?
  • Do you know if you've recently been exposed to mumps?
  • Do you know your current vaccination status?
  • Has anyone in your home had symptoms?
  • What drugs, vitamins, herbal remedies or dietary supplements do you take regularly?
Nov. 23, 2022
  1. AskMayoExpert. Mumps. Mayo Clinic; 2022.
  2. Mumps: For health care providers. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/hcp.html. Accessed Oct. 24, 2022.
  3. Albrect MA. Mumps. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Oct. 24, 2022.
  4. Bennett JE, et al. Mumps virus. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 24, 2022.
  5. Kliegman RM, et al. Mumps. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 24, 2022.
  6. AskMayoExpert. Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. Mayo Clinic; 2022.
  7. Immunization: Mumps. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.hhs.gov/immunization/diseases/mumps/index.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2022.
  8. CDC studies on vaccines and autism. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/index.html. Accessed Oct. 24, 2022.
  9. Understanding thimerosal, mercury, and vaccine safety. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/index.html. Accessed Oct. 24, 2022.
  10. Thimerosal and vaccines. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/index.html. Accessed Oct. 24, 2022.
  11. Vaccine safety for moms-to-be. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pregnancy/vacc-safety.html. Accessed Oct. 31, 2022.
  12. The editors of the Lancet. Retraction: Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. The Lancet. 2010. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60175-4
  13. Autism and Vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism.html. Accessed Nov. 15, 2022.