Mumps or epidemic parotitis is a viral disease of the human species. The word “mumps” originally meant “to mumble”, and came to be applied to the disease because of the side effects it causes. Prior to the development of vaccination and the introduction of a vaccine, it was a common childhood disease worldwide, and is still a significant threat to health in the third world.[1]

Painful swelling of the salivary glands (classically the parotid gland) is the most typical presentation.[2] Painful testicular swelling and rash may also occur. While symptoms are generally not severe in children, the symptoms in teenagers and adults can be more severe and complications such as infertility or subfertility are relatively common, although still rare in absolute terms.[3],[4],[5] The disease is generally self-limited, running its course before receding, with no specific treatment apart from controlling the symptoms with painkillers.

Symptoms of Mumps

Comparison of a person before and after contracting the mumps

Comparison of a person before and after contracting the mumps

The more common symptoms of mumps are:

  • Parotid inflammation (or parotitis) in 60–70% of infections and 95% of patients with symptoms.[2] Parotitis causes swelling and local pain, particularly when chewing. It can occur on one side (unilateral) or both sides (bilateral).
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Orchitis, referring to painful inflammation of the testicle.[6] Males past puberty who develop mumps have a 30 percent risk of orchitis.[7]

Other symptoms of mumps can include sore face and/or ears and occasionally in more serious cases, loss of voice.


Fever and headache can occur already as prodromal symptoms of mumps, together with malaise and anorexia.

Signs and tests

A physical examination confirms the presence of the swollen glands. Usually the disease is diagnosed on clinical grounds and no confirmatory laboratory testing is needed. If there is uncertainty about the diagnosis, a test of saliva, or blood may be carried out; a newer diagnostic confirmation, using real-time nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, has also been developed [8]. An estimated 20%-30% of cases are asymptomatic.[9]

Treatment of Mumps

There is no specific treatment for mumps. Symptoms may be relieved by the application of intermittent ice or heat to the affected neck area and by Acetaminophen/Paracetamol (Tylenol) for pain relief. Aspirin use is discouraged in young children because of studies showing an increased risk of Reye’s syndrome.[10] Warm salt water gargles, soft foods, and extra fluids may also help relieve symptoms.

Patients are advised to avoid fruit juice or any acidic foods, since these stimulate the salivary glands, which can be painful.


Death is very unusual. The disease is self-limiting, and general outcome is good, even if other organs are involved. Mumps viral infections in adult males carries a 25% risk that the testes may become infected which in rare cases leads to sterility. After the illness, life-long immunity to mumps generally occurs.

Complications for Mumps

Known complications of mumps include:

  • Infection of other organ systems
  • Sterility in men (this is quite rare, and mostly occurs in older men)
  • Mild forms of meningitis (rare, 40% of cases occur without parotid swelling)
  • Encephalitis (very rare, rarely fatal)
  • Profound (91 dB or more) but rare sensorineural hearing loss, uni- or bilateral
  • Pancreatitis manifesting as pain abdomen and vomiting
  • Oophoritis (inflammation of ovaries) but fertility is rarely affected.

Prevention for Mumps

The most common preventative measure against mumps is immunization with a mumps vaccine. The vaccine may be given separately or as part of the MMR immunization vaccine which also protects against measles and rubella. In the US, MMR is now being supplanted by MMRV, which adds protection against chickenpox. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends the use of mumps vaccines in all countries with well-functioning childhood vaccination programmes. In the United Kingdom it is routinely given to children at age 15 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the routine administration of MMR vaccine at ages 12-15 months and at 4-6 years.[11] In some locations, the vaccine is given again between 4 to 6 years of age, or between 11 and 12 years of age if not previously given. Efficacy of the vaccine depends on the strain of the vaccine, but is usually around 80%.[12],[13] The Jeryl Lynn strain is most commonly used in developed countries, but has been shown to have reduced efficacy in epidemic situations. The Leningrad-Zagreb strain is commonly used in developing countries, but appears to have superior efficacy in epidemic situations.[14]

Some anti-vaccine activists protest against the administration of a vaccine against mumps, claiming that the attenuated vaccine strain is harmful, and/or that the wild disease is beneficial. Disagreeing, the WHO, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the British Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain currently recommend routine vaccination of children against mumps. The British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain had previously recommended against general mumps vaccination, changing that recommendation in 1987. In 1988 it became United Kingdom government policy to introduce mass child mumps vaccination programmes with the MMR vaccine, and MMR vaccine is now routinely administered in the UK.

Before the introduction of the mumps vaccine, the mumps virus was the leading cause of viral meningoencephalitis in the United States. However, encephalitis occurs rarely (less than 2 per 100,000).[15] In one of the largest studies in the literature, the most common symptoms of mumps meningoencephalitis were found to be fever (97%), vomiting (94%) and headache (88.8%).[16] The mumps vaccine was introduced into the United States in December 1967: since its introduction there has been a steady decrease in the incidence of mumps and mumps virus infection. There were 151,209 cases of mumps reported in 1968. Since 2001, the case average was only 265 per year, excluding an outbreak of >6000 cases in 2006 attributed largely to university contagion in young adults.[17][18]

Homeopathy Treatment for Mumps

Keywords: homeopathy, homeopathic, treatment, cure, remedy, remedies, medicine

Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution, family history, presenting symptoms, underlying pathology, possible causative factors etc. A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into account for the treatment of chronic conditions. A homeopathy doctor tries to treat more than just the presenting symptoms. The focus is usually on what caused the disease condition? Why ‘this patient’ is sick ‘this way’. The disease diagnosis is important but in homeopathy, the cause of disease is not just probed to the level of bacteria and viruses. Other factors like mental, emotional and physical stress that could predispose a person to illness are also looked for. No a days, even modern medicine also considers a large number of diseases as psychosomatic. The correct homeopathy remedy tries to correct this disease predisposition. The focus is not on curing the disease but to cure the person who is sick, to restore the health. If a disease pathology is not very advanced, homeopathy remedies do give a hope for cure but even in incurable cases, the quality of life can be greatly improved with homeopathic medicines.

The homeopathic remedies (medicines) given below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete and definite guide to the homeopathy treatment of this condition. The symptoms listed against each homeopathic remedy may not be directly related to this disease because in homeopathy general symptoms and constitutional indications are also taken into account for selecting a remedy. To study any of the following remedies in more detail, please visit the Materia Medica section at Hpathy.

None of these medicines should be taken without professional advice and guidance.

Homeopathy Remedies for Mumps :

Acon., ail., am-c.., ant-t., anthr., ars., arum-t., aur., aur-m., bar-c., bar-m., bell., brom., calc., carb-an., carb-v., cham., cist., cocc., con., crot-h., dor., dulc., euphr., ferr-p., hep., hippoz., jab., kali-ar., kali-bi., kali-c., kali-m., kali-p., lach., lyc., mag-p., merc., merc-i-f., merc-i-r., nat-m., petr., phos., phyt., piloc., puls., rhus-t., sars., sil., sul-i., sulph., trif-p., trif-r.


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  2. ^ a b Hviid A, Rubin S, Mühlemann K (2008). “Mumps”. Lancet 371 (9616): 932–44. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60419-5. PMID 18342688. 
  3. ^ Preveden T, Jovanovic J, Ristic D (1996). “[Fertility in men after mumps infection without manifestations of orchitis]”. Med Pregl 49 (3-4): 99–102. PMID 8692089. 
  4. ^ Shakhov EV, Krupin VN (1990). “[The clinico-statistical characteristics of the testicular generative function in male subfertility following mumps]”. Urol Nefrol (Mosk) (2): 46–50. PMID 2368216. 
  5. ^ Tsvetkov D (1990). “[Spermatological disorders in patients with postmumps orchitis]”. Akush Ginekol (Sofiia) 29 (6): 46–9. PMID 2100952. 
  6. ^ Manson AL (1990). “Mumps orchitis”. Urology 36 (4): 355–8. doi:10.1016/0090-4295(90)80248-L. PMID 2219620. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Krause CH, Eastick K, Ogilvie MM (2006). “Real-time PCR for mumps diagnosis on clinical specimens–comparison with results of conventional methods of virus detection and nested PCR“. J. Clin. Virol. 37 (3): 184–9. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2006.07.009. PMID 16971175. 
  9. ^ Mumps epidemic–Iowa, 2006” (2006). MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 55 (13): 366–8. PMID 16601665. 
  10. ^ The significance of these studies has been questioned.
  11. ^ [2]PDF
  12. ^ Schlegel M, Osterwalder JJ, Galeazzi RL, Vernazza PL (1999). “Comparative efficacy of three mumps vaccines during disease outbreak in Eastern Switzerland: cohort study“. BMJ 319 (7206): 352. PMID 10435956. PMC:32261. 
  13. ^[3] Summary]”. WHO: Mumps vaccine. Retrieved on 2006-04-18.
  14. ^ Peltola H, Kulkarni PS, Kapre SV, Paunio M, Jadhav SS, Dhere RM (2007). “Mumps outbreaks in Canada and the United States: Time for new thinking on mumps vaccines” ([dead link]Scholar search). Clin Infect Dis 45: 459–66. doi:10.1086/520028. 
  15. ^ Atkinson W, Humiston S, Wolfe C, Nelson R (Editors). (2006). Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, 9th, Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Fulltext. 
  16. ^ Kanra G, Isik P, Kara A, Cengiz AB, Secmeer G, Ceyhan M (2004). “Complementary findings in clinical and epidemiologic features of mumps and mumps meningoencephalitis in children without mumps vaccination”. Pediatr Int 46 (6): 663–8. doi:10.1111/j.1442-200x.2004.01968.x. PMID 15660864. 
  17. ^ Summary of Notifiable Diseases – United States, 2006
  18. ^ 2006 mumps outbreak occurred despite high vaccination rate – Los Angeles Times