• Mumps causes swelling in the glands around the face.
  • It can lead to meningitis in about 1 in 10 people.

Mumps is spread through the air by breathing, coughing and sneezing, or through contact with infected saliva (i.e. kissing, sharing food and drink).

If you’ve caught mumps, it usually takes 12–25 days before you get sick. You’ll be infectious from 1 week before swelling appears until 5 days after.

Stop mumps spreading

If your child has mumps, they should be kept home from school or early childhood services for 5 days after swelling develops. This will help prevent the spread of mumps in your community. If your child is still unwell after this 5 days they should remain at home until they are well.

For more information

Last updated 13 June 2023.