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The mumps is an acute infectious disease caused by the mumps virus. It is characterized by the swelling of one or more of the salivary glands, typically the parotid glands. Although generally mild, infection can result in complications such viral meningitis and orchitis /oophoritis.

With the introduction of routine mumps vaccination programs in Canada, mumps has transitioned from being a common childhood infection to a relatively rare disease. Nonetheless, outbreaks of mumps continue to occur in Canada with an increasing proportion of cases occurring in young adults.

The average incubation period for mumps is 16 to 18 days, but can range from 12 to 25 days. Mumps most commonly presents as unilateral or bilateral parotitis (30% to 40% of all patients) that is preceded by fever, headache, malaise, myalgia, or anorexia.

Systemic symptoms usually resolve within 3 to 5 days, and parotid swelling subsides within 7 to 10 days. Approximately 20% of infections are asymptomatic and 40% to 50% manifest as nonspecific or respiratory symptoms.

Source: Health Canada