Mumps is a disease resulting from infection by the mumps virus. The disease is characterised by swelling of one or both cheeks or sides of the jaw, also known as parotitis, along with:

  • fever
  • headache
  • swollen glands

Mumps infection can also lead to serious complications including:

  • aseptic meningitis
  • encephalitis
  • inflammation of the testes
  • pancreatitis
  • oophoritis
  • permanent deafness

The most effective strategy for preventing the transmission of mumps is vaccination with the measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine.

More information on mumps can be found on the NHS Inform website.


Guidance on mumps: risk in pregnancy, infection in healthcare settings and the MMR vaccine can be found on the Public Health England website.

For all infection prevention and control guidance visit the A-Z ​pathogens section of the National Infection and Prevention Control Manual.

Data and surveillance