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NOTE: A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used to define a disease for public health surveillance. Surveillance case definitions enable public health officials to classify and count cases consistently across reporting jurisdictions. Surveillance case definitions are not intended to be used by healthcare providers for making a clinical diagnosis or determining how to meet an individual patient’s health needs.

Clinical Description

An illness with acute onset of unilateral or bilateral tender, self-limited swelling of the parotid or other salivary gland, lasting greater than or equal to 2 days, and without other apparent cause

Laboratory Criteria For Diagnosis

  • Isolation of mumps virus from clinical specimen, OR
  • Significant rise between acute- and convalescent-phase titers in serum mumps immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody level by any standard serologic assay, OR
  • Positive serologic test for mumps immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody

Case Classification


A case that meets the clinical case definition, has noncontributory or no serologic or virologic testing, and is not epidemiologically linked to a confirmed or probable case


A case that is laboratory confirmed or that meets the clinical case definition and is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed or probable case. A laboratory-confirmed case does not need to meet the clinical case definition.


Two probable cases that are epidemiologically linked would be considered confirmed, even in the absence of laboratory confirmation. False-positive IgM results by immunofluorescent antibody assays have been reported.1


  1. Schluter WW, Reef SE, Dykewicz DA, Jennings CE. Pseudo-Outbreak of Mumps--Illinois, 1995 [Abstract]. in: Program and Abstracts of the 30th National Immunization Conference, Washington, DC, April 9-12, 1996

Related Case Definition(s)