Mumps is a contagious (spreads easily from person to person) illness caused by a virus. It can spread quickly through droplets from an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It can also be spread through contact with an infected person’s saliva (kissing, sharing food and drinks, sharing cigarettes, or sharing toys).

Mumps is a virus that causes painful swelling of the cheeks and neck, fever, dry mouth, headache, earache, fatigue, sore muscles, loss of appetite, and trouble talking, chewing, or swallowing.

Most people recover from mumps within 7 – 10 days.

Mumps can result in serious complications please see the FAQ sheet.

Many people who get infected with the mumps virus will have mild symptoms or not be sick at all.  People can still spread the disease to others so it is very important to be vaccinated against mumps unless you have already had the disease.

Immunization is the best way to protect against getting mumps.  Mumps containing vaccines are safe and effective. 

Mumps is part of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and the MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella and varicella) vaccine. This vaccines are available free of charge to NWT residents.  See the NWT Immunization Schedule for more information.

If you have symptoms of mumps or think you were close to someone with mumps, call your health care provider as soon as possible.