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What Is Mumps?

Mumps is a highly contagious disease. It is caused by a virus. Initial symptoms include a headache, fever, aching muscles, exhaustion, and loss of hunger, followed by swelling of their salivary glands, which can lead the appearance of a swollen jaw and cheeks.

Mumps Vaccination

Mumps can be prevented by a vaccination called the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. The MMRV vaccine can also be used, which prevents measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella—known also by its more common name, chickenpox.

The United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) officially recommend that children receive two doses of the MMR vaccine:

  • The first dose at 12 to 15 months of age
  • The second dose at 4 to 6 years of age

It is also important to ensure that teens and adults are up-to-date on the MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine is very safe and is highly effective. In preventing mumps, the MMR vaccine is approximately 78% effective when one dose is received, and 88% effective when the recommended two doses are applied. Only children between the ages of 12 months and 12 years may receive the MMRV vaccine. Thanks to the introduction of these highly effective vaccinations in 1967, the United States has seen a 99% decrease in mumps cases.

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