LA CROSSE, Wis. — Mumps is no longer very common in the United States, but when an outbreak does occur, it can spread quickly and affect anyone not immune from having had the mumps or the vaccination.
“Living or being in crowded environments can be a major factor in mumps outbreaks,” says infectious diseases specialist Raj Varatharaj Palraj, M.B.B.S., at Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare La Crosse. “Being in places such as classrooms, playing on the same sports team or living in a dormitory with someone who has mumps contributes to spread of the virus.” Dr. Varatharaj Palraj says that mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat that is produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- Swollen, painful salivary glands on one or both sides of your face
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Pain while chewing or swallowing
The MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps.