Mumps is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It can be prevented by a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.

Mumps causes swelling in the glands around the face. It is a virus that is very easily spread to other people.

Your family/whānau’s best protection against mumps is to be immunised against it. Protection against mumps is part of the free MMR vaccination given to children at 12 months and 15 months of age. If you think you or your child may not have had these vaccinations, see your doctor.

If you are concerned about mumps call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or see your doctor or practice nurse.

Mumps is spread through the air by breathing, coughing and sneezing, or through contact with infected saliva – like kissing or sharing food and drink.

If you’ve caught mumps, it usually takes 12–25 days before you get sick. You’ll be infectious (able to pass mumps to others) from two days before until five days after the swelling appears.

If you have mumps you may have a fever, headache, aching muscles, be tired, and not want to eat. The glands on one or both sides of your face may become swollen and sore.

Mumps is caused by a virus, so antibiotics won’t work against it. 

If you or your child has any symptoms of mumps, please see your doctor for a test, but phone ahead first.

Someone with mumps should have plenty of bed rest and drink lots of cool fluids, especially water.

If you or your child has mumps, stay away from others for five days after the swelling starts. This means not going to day care, school, work or anywhere there are other people that you could pass mumps on to, and not having visitors.

Mumps is a notifiable disease. This means that health professionals or laboratories will inform us when someone has it. This allows us to monitor the number of people who have the disease and give them and health professionals advice on how to reduce the spread of mumps. Our team will also speak to the person who has mumps about who they have been in close contact with so we can provide those people with advice to help protect themselves and avoid spreading it further.

  • Mumps (Ministry of Health)
  • Mumps (Health Navigator)
  • Mumps (The Immunisation Advisory Centre)

Calculating how long to stay in quarantine

If you have been asked to stay home in quarantine, this is to prevent you from spreading the mumps virus to others if you are developing the disease. People are infectious before they become unwell.

Please stay home away from others. Do not go to work, school, preschool, group or social activities, sports, fitness centres or public places like movie theatres, shopping malls, supermarkets, other food markets, bars and cafes. Do not use public transport or visit friends or family. Avoid being in the same room as people who are not immune to mumps.

To work out your quarantine period, use this quarantine calculator.

Mumps quarantine calculator

Because you were in first contact , and your last contact was ,

You should remain in quarantine from -

You can return to normal activities the
next day if you are still well.

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There are specific requirements for notifiable diseases in the Auckland region.

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Last updated 4.2.2021

For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116
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