Things That Go ‘Mump’ in the Night

While the sight of the tell-tale swelling of mumps may make you giggle, it is a serious viral infection that causes a host of troublesome symptoms. Spread through coughs and sneezes, it is a disease that results in painful swelling of the salivary glands and makes the jaw and cheeks swell to an abnormal size.  

Mumps has an incubation period of 16-25 days and often gets better within a couple of weeks on its own and without any lasting complications.Sometimes, the symptoms can become very severe and, in rare cases, deadly.

Mild Symptoms of Mumps

  • Fever

  • Loss of appetite and difficulty eating

  • Fatigue

  • Aches and pains

  • Headache

More serious complications of mumps include testicular and ovarian swelling, meningitis, hearing loss that can become permanent, pancreatitis, and brain swelling. Adults who contract the disease have a higher chance of experiencing these complications. There is no cure for mumps and any medical treatment is aimed at easing the severity of the symptoms.

The good news is that the highly contagious mumps are easy to prevent! In 1988, the mumps vaccine, known as the MMR vaccine, was introduced and this vastly decreased cases of mumps throughout the UK. Most recent cases of mumps are in children and adults who were not vaccinated or did not complete the recommended course of vaccinations correctly.

Anyone who does not get the MMR vaccine or does not get both doses is susceptible to the disease. The vaccine also protects against two additional extremely infectious diseases, measles and rubella.

The MMR vaccine is administered in two doses and is recommended to be given when a child is one years of age and then again at three years and four months of age. Adults and older children who are unvaccinated are encouraged to get both doses as soon as possible, especially if they:

  • Are going abroad

  • Planning to become pregnant

  • Going to university

  • Work in health or social care

  • Were born between 1970-1990

If you want to get the mumps and MMR vaccine for yourself or your family, contact Miles Pharmacy’s Travel Health Clinic in Kingston. We offer a full service travel vaccination clinic as well as comprehensive specialist advice. Book online today at