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Mumps

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Description

A disease of the lymph nodes caused by a virus

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Symptoms

Fever, headache, muscle ache, and swelling of the lymph nodes close to the jaw

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Complications

Meningitis, inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, inflammation of the pancreas and deafness (usually permanent)

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Transmission

Spread by coughing and sneezing

Mumps is about as contagious as influenza and rubella, but less so than measles or chickenpox. It is generally transmitted from about 3 days before symptoms appear to about 4 days after, although the virus has been isolated from saliva as early as 7 days before to as late as 9 days after onset of symptoms.

The virus replicates in the nasopharynx and lymph nodes of the infected person. Transmission is airborne or through direct contact with infected droplets or saliva.

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Vaccine

Mumps vaccine (contained in MMR) can prevent this disease.

As an adult, you do NOT need the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR) if:

  • You had blood tests that show you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella.
  • You are a man born before 1957.
  • You are a woman born before 1957 who is sure she is not having more children, has already had rubella vaccine, or has had a positive rubella test.
  • You already had two doses of MMR or one dose of MMR plus a second dose of measles vaccine.
  • You already had one dose of MMR and are not at high risk of measles exposure.

As an adult, you SHOULD get the measles vaccine if you are not among the categories listed above, and

  • You are a college student, trade school student, or other student beyond high school.
  • You work in a hospital or other medical facility.
  • You travel internationally, or are a passenger on a cruise ship.
  • You are a woman of childbearing age.

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Mumps