The mumps virus is spread in the same way as the cold virus or flu. It can be spread through direct or indirect contact and so it is important that children carrying the virus are kept away from others as much as possible
It is especially dangerous for pregnant women so children should not attend nursery until after the exclusion period.
People are most contagious for one to two days before the onset of symptoms and for five days afterwards.
Symptoms of mumps can develop between 15 and 24 days after being infected.
Swelling of the glands is the most common symptom of mumps and are located on either side of the face, just below the ears. usually both glands are affected but in some cases only one gland may be affected.
The swelling also causes additional symptoms such as a feeling of pain in the swollen glands and pain on swallowing. Other symptoms may include headaches, joint pain, nausea, dry mouth, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, a high temperature or fatigue.