What is mumps?

  • Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by the Mumps virus. Symptoms begin 12-25 days after exposure and typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands (often referred to as parotitis when the parotid gland, located in front and below the ear, swells). This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw.
  • It spreads through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or talking; sharing items that may have saliva on them, such as water bottles or cups; and participating in close-contact activities with others, such as playing sports, dancing, or kissing. Someone is contagious to others 2 days before to 5 days after onset of parotitis.
  • The best way to prevent mumps is to be vaccinated.
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend children receive all vaccines according to the recommended vaccine schedule.

Is this a reportable illness?

  • This is a reportable illness to CDPH. Please work with your school nurse to confirm this diagnosis, gather the needed information and report as soon as possible but within 24 hours.
    • This is authorized by the IL Administrative Code Section 690.
    • For single cases, call the CDPH Disease Reporting Line at (312) 743-9000 and follow the prompts to report a case or complete this VPD RedCap Form.
    • To report multiple cases, call the CDPH Disease Reporting Line at (312) 743-9000 and follow the prompts.
  • Please note that an outbreak is defined as three or more cases linked by time and place with at least one laboratory confirmed by PCR.
  • Mumps can spread quickly on college campuses, even among persons with two doses of MMR vaccine; notify CDPH of any suspected mumps cases among college students.

What do schools need to do next?

  • Sick Person
    • Exclude until 5 days after onset of parotitis due to diagnosed mumps.
  • Close Contacts
    • Notify parents and staff of close contacts to provide education around exposure, signs and symptoms, and any necessary exclusion. Call CDPH to discuss the extent of notification and a template letter.
    • Susceptible close contacts: unimmunized people should be immunized or excluded from day 12 after the first exposure through day 25 after the last exposure.
  • Additional guidance from CDPH will be provided if an outbreak is identified.
  • No special cleaning.



  • A draft parent letter is available through CDPH upon the confirmation of a reported case.
  • Mumps One Pager - Coming Soon