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Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness characterized by the swelling of the parotid glands just below and in front of the ear, and, at times, the salivary glands under the jaw. It is transmitted through close contact and can take 12 to 25 days after exposure for symptoms to appear. People with mumps are contagious for up to seven days before, and up to nine days after, the onset of symptoms.


  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen salivary glands

The diseason can lead to hearing loss, aseptic meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) and, in 20% to 30% of males who have reached puberty, the disease can cause painful, swollen testicles.

How is mumps spread?
Mumps is spread by airborne transmission with mucus or droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person, usually when a person cough or sneezes.

All Virginia Tech students are required by Virginia state law and the university to receive the mumps vaccine. Other preventative measures for reducing transmission include frequent hand washing, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding the sharing of glasses and utensils.

What to do if you are exposed to the mumps
Students who think they have been exposed to mumps, or may have the mumps should stay at home and call Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444.

If somehow you do contract mumps, Virginia Tech will follow guidance from public health authorities, which may include excluding all susceptible/infected individuals from the campus for several weeks after mumps is identified. This restriction would include all university buildings, classes, research facilities, and any other activities on campus.