Mumps is a contagious viral illness that can cause serious complications.. Catch it, and you’ll have to spend nine days in isolation.
The most common symptoms of mumps are:
Symptoms usually last for 10 days.
Mumps can cause meningitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord with headache or a stiff neck), orchitis (swelling of one or both testicles), oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries), mastitis (swelling of the breasts), pancreatitis and deafness (may be permanent). Spontaneous abortion can occur if infection happens in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Mumps is highly contagious. It is spread through direct contact with saliva or mucus and is easily transferred when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Infection can also result from kissing, or by sharing food or beverages. The virus can survive on surfaces. Touching a surface contaminated by the mumps virus and then touching your nose or mouth can cause infection.
Mumps can be prevented with a vaccine called MMR (a 3-in-one vaccine that provides protection against measles, mumps and rubella). To be fully protected from contracting mumps, you need two doses of the vaccine.
Learn more about preventing mumps
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