DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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Mumps is a viral infection that primarily affects the parotid glands — one of three pairs of saliva-producing (salivary) glands, situated below and in front of your ears. If you or your child contracts mumps, it can cause swelling in one or both parotid glands.
Mumps was common in the United States until mumps vaccination became routine. Since then, the number of cases has dropped dramatically, so your odds of getting mumps are low. Complications of mumps, such as hearing loss, are potentially serious, but rare.
There's no specific treatment for mumps. Mumps outbreaks still occur in the United States, and mumps is still common in many parts of the world, so getting a vaccination to prevent mumps remains important.
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