Mumps is a viral infection that primarily affects the parotid glands — one of three pairs of saliva-producing (salivary) glands, situated below and in front of your ears. If you or your child contracts mumps, it can cause swelling in one or both parotid glands.
Mumps was common in the United States until mumps vaccination became routine. Since then, the number of cases has dropped dramatically, so your odds of getting mumps are low. Complications of mumps, such as hearing loss, are potentially serious, but rare.
There's no specific treatment for mumps. Mumps outbreaks still occur in the United States, and mumps is still common in many parts of the world, so getting a vaccination to prevent mumps remains important.
Oct. 05, 2012
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- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9124557. Accessed June 26, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=17051. Accessed June 26, 2012.
- Kutty PK, et al. Guidance for isolation precautions for mumps in the United States: A review of the scientific basis for policy change. Clinical Infectious Disease. 2010;50:1619.
- Mumps vaccination. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mumps/default.htm#notvacc. Accessed June 28, 2012.
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