Mumps is a vaccine-preventable infectious disease caused by a virus. It can lead to a wide range of complications, some very serious.
Before the MMR vaccine was introduced in 1988, more than 8 out of every 10 people in the UK developed mumps. Mumps used to cause about 1200 hospital admissions each year in England and Wales. It was the most common cause of both viral meningitis and acquired deafness in children.
In 2010, there were nearly 4000 cases in the UK.
Around 1 in 3 people do not show any symptoms when they are infected.
Common complications include:
Less common complications include:
Very rarely, mumps can cause death.
It is normally spread by water droplets that are coughed into the air by an infected person. Some people, including around 1 in 3 children, do not show symptoms when they are infected.