The mumps cause is a ribonucleic (RNA) virus, which is commonly transmitted through coughing and sneezing. The virus is not as common as ones that cause other diseases, such as chickenpox. Symptoms of mumps cause swelling in the salivary glands located near the jaw and neck, a condition known as parotitis.
The cause of mumps is an infection with the mumps virus, which is quite contagious, although not as contagious as the viruses that cause measles and chickenpox.
The mumps virus is an RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus from the family Paramyxovirus and the genus Rubulavirus. The mumps virus only infects humans and is found worldwide.
Mumps epidemics are relatively uncommon, occurring mostly in those who live in close quarters, such as schools, orphanages, and military camps. Infections with the virus are most common during spring, especially in the months of April and May.
Case of adult mumps appear to be happening more frequently, with approximately 40 percent of mumps virus infections occurring in this group.
Mumps is contagious, although not as contagious as other diseases, such as chickenpox or measles. The virus is spread by coughing and sneezing or touching something infected with the mumps virus and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Transmission of the virus can occur anytime, from about 3 days prior to the onset of the swelling in the neck (called parotitis) to 9 days after the onset of symptoms.
(Click Mumps Transmission for more information on how mumps is spread.)