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Mumps is an illness caused by the mumps virus. Mumps causes

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite

Swelling of the salivary glands follows these symptoms. Swelling of the glands near the jaw line below the ears may give you "chipmunk cheeks." Serious problems are rare, but can include deafness; swelling of the brain, spinal cord, testicles, breasts or ovaries; and pregnancy loss.

You can catch mumps by being with another person who has it. There is no treatment for mumps, but the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine can prevent it. Mumps used to be a common childhood illness. Today it is uncommon, with fewer then 1,000 cases per year on average, because of the vaccine.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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