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Mumps symptoms

The symptoms of mumps usually develop 14 to 25 days after a person is infected with the mumps virus (the incubation period). The average incubation period is around 17 days.

Swelling of the parotid glands is the most common symptom of mumps. The parotid glands are a pair of glands responsible for producing saliva. They are located on either side of your face, just below your ears.

Both glands are usually affected by the swelling, although only one gland can be affected. The swelling can cause pain, tenderness and difficulty with swallowing.

Other symptoms may involve:

  • a general feeling of being unwell
  • high temperature
  • discomfort when chewing.
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • feeling sick
  • dry mouth
  • mild pain in the tummy
  • feeling tired
  • loss of appetite.

In about a third of cases of mumps there are no noticeable symptoms.

Your child's face will be back to normal size in about a week. It's rare for mumps to affect boys' testes. This happens more often in adult men with mumps. If you think your child's testes are swollen or painful, see your doctor.

Last reviewed: August 2017

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