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Mumps is a viral illness that causes painful swelling of the parotid glands, which are salivary glands between the ear and the jaw. Mumps can sometimes spread to the testicles, ovaries, or pancreas, or to the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Mumps is usually not a serious illness. It can be passed from one person to another when a person who has the mumps virus coughs or sneezes. You also can get it by touching people who have mumps or items that have the virus on them. A vaccine can prevent mumps. Most cases of mumps today occur in people who were never vaccinated.
Mumps goes away on its own. Home care can help you feel better while getting over mumps. Talk with your doctor about follow-up care.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: October 31, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Christine Hahn MD - Epidemiology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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