The virus enters your body through the nose and throat. You may start to feel symptoms as the virus multiplies and spreads to the brain and the membranes that cover it, to the glands (usually the ), , , , and to other areas of the body.
Symptoms usually last about 10 days and may include:
- Swelling and pain in one or more of the . One or both cheeks may look swollen. Many people consider to be a classic sign of mumps, but this symptom can also occur with other illnesses.
- Fever of 101F (38C) to 104F (40C).
- Headache, earache, sore throat, and pain when swallowing or opening the mouth.
- Pain when eating sour foods or drinking sour liquids, such as citrus fruit or juice.
- Tiredness, with aching in the muscles and joints.
- Poor appetite and vomiting.
Up to one-third of people who are infected with the mumps virus do not have any symptoms, especially children younger than 2 years.
Infected people can spread the virus 1 to 2 days before symptoms start and for 5 to 9 days after symptoms start.
The incubation period-the time from when a person is first infected with the virus until the first symptoms are noticed-is usually 16 to 18 days, although it can be as long as 25 days.
Contact your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of complications, such as a stiff neck or severe headache (related to ), painful, tender testicles (from ), and upper or lower belly pain (caused by or ).