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Diseases & Topics


Mumps is a vaccine-preventable contagious disease that is caused by the mumps virus. Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of salivary glands. Anyone who is not immune from either a previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps.

Most people with mumps recover fully. However, mumps can occasionally cause complications, some of which can be serious, especially in people who have reached puberty. For example, mumps can lead to deafness, encephalitis, meningitis or sterility.

Before the routine vaccination program was introduced in the United States, mumps was a common illness in infants, children and young adults. Because most people have now been vaccinated, mumps has become rare in the United States, but it is not gone. Vaccination with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is the best way to prevent the disease.

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