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Transmission of Mumps

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Mumps Virus Still Around

Children running

Mumps still occurs in the United States, and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine is the best way to prevent the disease.

  • Check your child’s immunization record or contact the doctor to see whether your child has already received the MMR vaccine.
  • Get your child vaccinated on time; visit the immunization scheduler for newborn to 6-year-old children.
  • Remember that some preteens, teens, and adults also need MMR vaccine; review the preteens and teen schedule and the adult schedule.
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of mumps.
  • Let your doctor know right away if you think you or someone in your family may have mumps.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by

  • coughing, sneezing, or talking,
  • sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and
  • touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.

Mumps likely spreads before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after the swelling begins.

For information about how to prevent mumps from spreading, see Outbreak-Related Questions and Answers for Patients.

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