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What is mumps?

Mumps is a viral disease also known as epidemic parotitis. It swells the parotid glands, which are salivary glands found just beneath the ears. Mumps can cause serious complications, but is preventable by vaccine. Because outbreaks of this contagious illness still occur, vaccines are routinely given in the United States.

Mumps is a contagious viral infection that causes painful, swollen salivary glands. It is transmitted by breathing contaminated air or by touching contaminated objects. Mumps usually is not a serious disease, but its complications can cause inflammation in the testes, the brain, the covering of the brain (meningitis), the pancreas, and the kidneys.

Continue Learning about Mumps

What lifestyle changes should I make if I have mumps?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
If you have mumps, take it easy. Rest in bed and stay well-hydrated until your fever has broken....
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What should I do if my partner has mumps?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
If your partner, family member or someone around you has mumps, you should not get sick if you a...
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How do other illnesses affect mumps?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Conditions that weaken the immune system may make you more likely to contract mumps, but the bigge...
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What can happen if my child does not get the mumps vaccine?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Before the mumps vaccine was introduced, mumps caused deafness in some children. Widespread use ...
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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.