Mumps or Parotiditis

"When this infection appears in young boys it is important to go to the specialist to avoid the testicular infection that can cause them problems of infertility in the future".


Mumps is a viral disease produced by the paramyxovirus. This virus initially penetrates and multiplies in the cells of the respiratory system and then is transported by the blood to all tissues.

It has a special predilection for the salivary glands, especially the parotid gland. For this reason, a culture of saliva can be performed for diagnosis. It can also be isolated in urine or any other tissue.

The spread of the disease can be by direct contact, by objects contaminated with saliva or urine.

It can occur at any age, being more frequent in young adults.

What are the symptoms of mumps?

The period in which the symptoms usually appear is approximately 3-7 days, although this is very variable from one person to another.

Initially, pain and hardening appears in the area corresponding to the parotid gland (between the earlobe and the jaw), generally due to inflammation of the area.

Characteristically, the earlobe tends to elevate. The affected area tends to be painful to the palpation and even with the administration of acids (lemon, vinegar, etc.)

After the contagion, the increase of the size of the gland reaches its maximum volume to the 2-3 days. Generally, one side becomes swollen first, and within 2 days, the other side.

It is usually associated with a fever of less than 40ºC.

Most common symptoms:

  • Pain and hardening of the parotid gland.
  • Fever.
  • Fatigue and general malaise.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have mumps

What are the complications?

Complications, although very rare, can occur:

  • Meningoencephalitis or inflammation of the meninges and brain.
  • Orchitis, epididymitis or inflammation of the testicle.
  • Oforitis: inflammation of the ovary.
  • Nephritis: inflammation of the kidney.
  • Myocarditis: inflammation of the heart muscle.
  • Arthritis: inflammation of the joints.

Special care should be taken with adolescent boys with this infection because of the risk of developing orchitis and epididymitis.

This complication usually follows mumps symptoms within 8 days, with a sudden onset of fever, nausea, abdominal and testicular pain. Its duration is approximately 4 days and can be associated with decreased fertility.

However, in women it does not produce a decrease in female fertility.

How is it prevented?

The best treatment is prevention through childhood vaccination. The first dose is given at 15 months and the booster at 6 years.

In general, this vaccine does not usually produce fever or other complications. The vaccine induces defenses against the virus in about 96% of people in whom there has been no previous contact with the virus.

How are mumps diagnosed?

The diagnosis of mumps is established through the examination of the patient, as the symptoms and signs are characteristic.

How are mumps treated?

In most cases, this disease is self-limited and its treatment will only consist of improving the symptoms that are presented, basically through antipyretics and anti-inflammatories.

Bed rest should be done according to the needs of the patient, with this measure there are no statistics that show a decrease in the rate of complications and on the contrary, it can be uncomfortable for the patient. Therefore, it is best to rest when desired.

The diet is another very important factor, it must be adjusted to the capacity to eat and the appetite that one has. There is no contraindication to limit the feeding.

Where do we treat it?


The Department of Pediatrics
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

All our specialists work exclusively and, in addition, since we have all the technology in the same center, we offer the performance of tests and diagnosis in less than 72 hours.

We have a team of highly qualified professionals to attend the different specialized units: Oncopediatrics, Neuropediatrics, Endocrinopediatrics, Neonatology, etc.

Organized in specialized units

  • Neonatology Area.
  • Pediatric Endocrinology.
  • Pediatric Cardiology.
  • Pediatric Neuropediatrics.
  • Digestive and pediatric nutrition.
  • General and preventive pediatrics.
  • Pediatric Pneumology.
Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Comprehensive care of the child.
  • Professionals who are experts in the different areas for a better diagnosis and treatment.
  • Equipped with the latest technology for newborn care.

Our team of professionals