Mumps is a highly contagious infection. It results in fever and swelling of the parotid glands. These are salivary glands located near the front of the ear. Mumps is caused by a virus.
The virus is usually spread through contact with an infected person's saliva. Since the virus is highly contagious, it spreads easily among people in close contact.
Once a common childhood illness, mumps is now rarely seen in the Unite States. This is largely because of the use of the vaccine, which provides lifelong immunity.
In some cases, people have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, it is generally 2-3 weeks after exposure.
There are no medicines or specific treatments for mumps. Since the illness is caused by a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Mumps should not be treated with aspirin. Treatment is aimed at improving comfort, which may include:
The mumps vaccine is usually given in combination with:
All children (with few exceptions) should receive the vaccine two times:
The vaccine can also be given to infants aged 6-11 months who will be traveling internationally. These infants should also get the two routine shots at ages 12-15 months and 4-6 years.
For those 18 years of age or younger who have not been vaccinated, two doses of MMR are given. The doses are separated by four weeks.
Adults born after 1957 who have not been previously vaccinated may need 1-2 doses. Talk with your doctor if you were not previously vaccinated.
Like any vaccine, the MMR vaccine could cause serious problems. While most people do not have any problems with the MMR vaccine, some have reported:
You should not get the vaccine if you:
Talk to your doctor before getting the vaccine if you have the following conditions:
Other than getting the vaccine, the best way to prevent mumps is to avoid contact with an infected person.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
American Academy of Pediatrics
National Immunization Program
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Baker CJ, Pickerling LK, Chilton L, et al; Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Recommended adult immunization schedule: United States, 2011. Ann Intern Med. 1 Feb 2011;154(3):168-173.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0-18 years —United States, 2011. MMWR . 2011;60(5).
Measles, mumps, and rubella: vaccine use and strategies for elimination of measles, rubella, and congenital rubella syndrome and control of mumps: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00053391.htm . Published 22, 1998. Accessed February 17, 2012.
Mumps. New York State Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/mumps/fact_sheet.htm . Accessed February 6, 2007.
Mumps vaccination. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mumps/default.htm . Accessed February 6, 2007.
Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0-6 years—United States, 2012. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/0-6yrs-schedule-pr.pdf . Published December 23, 2011. Accessed February 16, 2012.
1/31/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0-18 years—United States, 2008. MMWR. 2008;57;Q1-Q4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5701a8.htm . Updated January 10, 2008. Accessed January 28, 2008.
Last reviewed June 2012 by Lawrence Frisch, MD, MPH
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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