Mumps is an infection caused by a virus. It is highly contagious and passes easily from person to person, so prevention is very important. The mumps vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps.
The main symptom of mumps is painful swelling in the cheeks and neck. Symptoms can also include:
- headache or earache,
- sore muscles,
- dry mouth,
- trouble talking, chewing or swallowing, or
- loss of appetite.
Although most people fully recover from mumps within 7 to 10 days, in rare cases the virus may cause complications. These include deafness, meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) or infections of the testicles or ovaries.
There is no specific cure for mumps.
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