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Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness characterized by fever and swelling of the neck. It used to be extremely common; however, thanks to the mumps vaccine, fewer than 1,000 cases occur each year in the United States.
 
When a person becomes infected with the mumps virus, it begins to multiply within the nose, throat, and lymph glands in the neck. The virus can also enter the blood and spread to other parts of the body. After approximately 16 to 18 days, symptoms can appear.
 
There is no cure for mumps, so treatment is focused on relieving symptoms while the body fights the infection. Most people recover without any long-term problems.
 
(Click Mumps for other information about this condition, including possible symptoms, how a diagnosed is made, and how the virus is spread, among other things.)
 
 

Other Information About Mumps

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