Common questions about mumps

What is mumps?

Mumps is a disease caused by a virus. Its most common symptom is swollen, painful cheeks and neck.

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What causes mumps?

Mumps is caused by a virus. The virus is spread though close contact with an infected person, and can also be spread through the air when a person with mumps sneezes or coughs. Children can also be infected with mumps if they touch their eyes or mouth after touching toys or other items that someone with mumps has handled.

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What are the symptoms of mumps?

The most typical signs of mumps are fever, headache and swelling of the glands that are under the ears or jaw. This swelling – which is painful – can happen on one or both sides of your child’s face, and will make your child’s cheeks bulge out. Your child may also experience earaches and sore muscles, or lose his or her appetite.

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What can happen to my child if he or she gets mumps?

Mumps could make your child deaf. In rare cases, mumps could also affect your child’s future ability to have children of his or her own.

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Is there a treatment or cure for mumps?

There is no cure for mumps.

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What is the name of the immunization that includes protection against mumps?

The MMRV vaccine will prompt your child’s immune system to build antibodies – or “armour” – that will protect your child against mumps, measles, rubella and varicella disease.

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At what age should my child be immunized against mumps?

To be protected against mumps, your child needs multiple doses of the MMRV vaccine, at the ages and stages recommended in the routine schedule . Your child is recommended to receive MMRV at 12 months of age, followed by a dose at four to six years of age.

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Are there side effects to the mumps vaccine?

Your child may have redness, swelling and soreness where the needle was given. These side effects will be temporary, lasting for only one or two days. Four to 12 days after getting the immunization, your children may also develop a slight fever, a red blotchy rash, and/or small blisters. These side effects are also temporary. For tips on managing side effects after immunization, click here.

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Does the mumps vaccine cause autism?

No, vaccines do not cause autism. Research has found no link between vaccine and autism. You may have heard about Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon who suggested a link between autism and vaccine. What you may not have heard is that the research he published was found to be false, and Wakefield had his medical licence taken away because of this. In January 2010, Britain’s statutory tribunal of the General Medical Council found Wakefield guilty of four counts of dishonesty and 12 counts involving the abuse of developmentally challenged children, as it pertained to his false research on autism.

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Is this disease called any other names?

No, there are no other common names for mumps.

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