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Does mumps affect children differently than adults?

Both adults and children who become infected with mumps are likely to display the same symptoms and are at risk for most of the same complications. Children are more likely to contract mumps, especially between the ages of five and ten. Typically, you need to have received two doses of the vaccine during your lifetime to achieve immunity, although it is still possible to catch mumps, especially with a lot of exposure. Those who have contracted and recovered from the virus also enjoy similar immunity.

Children who are recovering from mumps and other viral infections that cause fever, like chickenpox, should not take aspirin. Children are at risk for Reye's syndrome, a rare but deadly complication that can occur when aspirin is administered for the treatment of mumps pain and inflammation, or for any other viral infection. (In general, acetaminophen or ibuprofen in children’s doses are safer choices for children.) Adults are not at risk for Reye's syndrome, and may take aspirin to relieve the pain and inflammation of mumps.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.