Fort Worth, Texas,
11:03 PM

9 quick facts about the mumps parents should know.

Fort Worth ISD employee contracted with disease.

NBC 5 reports that "a Fort Worth Independent School District employee has contracted the mumps."

Channel 5 said the person is an employee in the district's Professional Development Center, not a school campus

This is another reminder about the value of vaccination in preventing what can be serious illness. Mumps cases decreased 99 percent after the introduction of a successful strategy for vaccination. 

Here are some quick facts about mumps:

  1. It is highly contagious and most often transmitted via respiratory droplets.
  2. The incubation period from exposure to symptoms can be 2-4 weeks.
  3. The most common symptoms are low-grade fever, fatigue, headache, sore muscles and joints followed by swelling of the parotid gland (which sits in front of the ear on the side of the face).
  4. The initial infection of mumps typically goes away by itself with the swelling of the parotid gland lasting up to ten days.
  5. The real concern with mumps is the secondary complications that can present during the infection.
  6. Testicular involvement (orchitis): Inflammation of the testicles occurs in up to 38 percent of males diagnosed after puberty. Although complete sterility is rare, impaired fertility and testicular atrophy occur in 13 percent and 40-50 percent respectively.
  7. Meningitis: Inflammation of the tissue surrounding the brain can occur in 4-6 percent of patients with males more frequently affected (3-4 timesas often as females). Symptoms of meningitis are fever, headache and stiff neck.
  8. Other less common complications include encephalitis (inflammation of the tissue of the brain), deafness and other neurologic symptoms, arthritis and inflammation of the pancreas.
  9. Women who contract mumps during pregnancy have an increased risk of miscarriage in the first trimester.

Here's a quick look at mumps cases over the years according to the CDC:


About the author

Justin Smith, M.D., is a Cook Children's pediatrician in Lewisville . View more from The Doc Smitty at his Facebook page.He attended University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School and did his pediatric training at Baylor College of Medicine. He joins Cook Children's after practicing in his hometown of Abilene for four years. He has a particular interest in development, behavior and care for children struggling with obesity. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his 3 young children, exercising, reading and writing about parenting and pediatric health issues.

Comments 1 - 3 (3)
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Cook Children's
Great question Michelle. According to the CDC: "In 2006, the United States experienced a multi-state mumps outbreak involving more than 6,500 reported cases. This resurgence predominantly affected college-aged students living in the Midwest, with outbreaks occurring on many different Midwestern college campuses."
What happened in 2006 that sent the infection rate skyrocketing?
Joan Sierra
Thanks for this information about the seriousness of mumps. How likely is the chance that mumps symptoms could be mistaken for mononucleosis, allergic reaction l, or Bell's Palsy?

Thank you,