Mumps Home > Complications of Mumps


About 10 percent of people will develop meningitis as a complication of mumps. Symptoms of meningitis can include:
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Sensitivity to light.
These symptoms usually develop 3 to 10 days after salivary gland swelling (called parotitis), but can occur before any mumps symptoms appear or several weeks after the symptoms of mumps fade.

Other Nervous System Problems

Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) is a rare complication of mumps, but it is responsible for a number of the other mumps complications, including:
In rare cases, mumps can cause other problems in the brain, including:
  • Transverse myelitis
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome.


Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, and can be a serious mumps complication. Symptoms of pancreatitis include:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdomen tender to touch
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse.
Severe cases of mumps-related pancreatitis may cause dehydration and low blood pressure. The heart, lungs, or kidneys may fail. If bleeding occurs in the pancreas, shock, and sometimes even death, follows.
In rare cases, diabetes or pancreatic insufficiency can occur as a later complication of mumps-related pancreatitis.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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