Mumps is an acute, contagious viral disease characterized by swelling
of the salivary or parotid glands (parotitis) just below the ear and around the jaw. The
virus is spread from person to person via respiratory droplets and may cause additional symptoms
such as difficulty eating, muscle aches, severe headache, and low-grade fever. These symptoms, as
well as the parotitis, may last for up to 10 days. Complications of the mumps include deafness,
meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles
and ovaries, and rarely death. Mumps can be prevented by receiving 2 doses of mumps.
Mumps can be prevented by receiving 2 doses of
mumps-containing vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella [MMR] or measles, mumps,
rubella, varicella [MMRV]). Infants should receive their first dose of MMR or
MMRV vaccine at 12 months of age. A second dose is recommended at 4 through 6
years of age. Adolescents and adults at high risk for exposure (healthcare
personnel, international travelers, and college students) who have never
received a mumps-containing vaccine or do not have proof of immunity, should
receive two doses of MMR vaccine 4 weeks apart.