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Acute contagious viral disease with inflammatory swelling of the salivary glands. Epidemics often occur, mostly among 5- to 15-year-olds. Cold symptoms with low fever are followed by swelling and stiffening in front of the ear, often on both sides. This rapidly spreads toward the neck and under the jaw. Pain is seldom severe, with little redness, but chewing and swallowing are difficult. During recovery in patients past puberty, other glands may be affected, but usually not seriously. The testes may atrophy, but sterility is very rare. While inflammation of the brain and meninges is fairly common, chances of recovery are good. Mumps needs no special treatment, and patients usually develop immunity. Vaccination can prevent it.
Variants of MUMPS
mumps or epidemic parotitis
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on mumps, visit Britannica.com.