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Mumps: What Parents Need to Know

Mumps: What Parents Need to Know


macro photograph of a doctor vaccinating a child

Mumps has been in the news recently after outbreaks at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and at a high school in Barrington, and more recently dozens of cases at Illinois State University.  

At Kids First Pediatrics, we like to keep our families informed and up to speed. Mumps is a viral infectious disease that can cause swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands found in the cheeks and jaw. This characteristic symptom is usually preceded by a few days of fever, headache, lethargy and muscle soreness. The infection spreads through contact with saliva or mucus  after an infected individual coughs  or sneezes. The symptoms of mumps typically last a few days, sometimes up to a week,  but a small percentage of infected individuals will develop more serious complications such as  deafness, meningitis, arthritis and painful swelling of the testicles. 

Although the only treatment for mumps is supportive care and hydration – there is a highly effective way to prevent the disease. That is  timely vaccination with the MMR vaccine at the 12 month check up and a second dose at age 4-5. Touch base with us for additional information, or check our website for links to trusted, reliable medical websites.