The Signs, Symptoms, and Prevention of Mumps – Is the MMR / Mumps Vaccine Safe?

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. There is no treatment for mumps, and it can cause long-term health problems. Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks and swollen jaw that it causes. This is a result of swollen salivary glands. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches , loss of appetite in addition to the swollen glands under the ears. If you child has been expose to the disease symptoms will typically appear 16 to 18 days after the infection.

Can Mumps Be Serious?

In most children, mumps is pretty mild. But it can cause serious, lasting problems, including…

  • Meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord)
  • Deafness (temporary or permanent)
  • Encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
  • Orchitis (swelling of the testicles) in males who have reached puberty
  • Oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) and/or mastitis (swelling of the breasts) in females who have reached puberty
  • In rare cases, mumps is deadly.

How Does Mumps Spread?

Mumps can spread through the saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person when he or she…

  • coughs, sneezes, or talks
  • shares items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others
  • touches objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.

The MMR Vaccine

Doctors recommend your child get two doses of the messles-mumps-rubella shot ( called the MMR shot) for best protection. Your child will need one dose at 12 to 15 months and the second at 4 to 6 years old. If for any reason you would be traveling abroad with your infant 6 to 11 months they should have one dose of the MMR shot.

Why Should My Child Get the MMR Shot?

The MMR shot will protect your child from mumps, a potentially serious disease, as well as measles and rubella. It will Prevent your child from getting a fever and swollen glands from mumps. And it will keep your child from missing school.

Is the MMR Shot Safe?

Vaccine , like any medicine, can have side effects. But most children do not have side effects. The MMR shot is very safe, and it is effective at preventing mumps (as well as measles and rubella).

What Are the Side Effects for the MMR Vaccine?

There has been controversy about a side effect of MMR shot and Autism. Scientist in the United States and other countries have studied the MMR shot and none have found a link between autism and the MMR shot. Most children do not have side effects. The side effects that could occur are usually very mild and include fever, rash, soreness, or swelling where the shot was given. Teens and adults sometimes experience stiffness in the joints. More serious side effects are rare.

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Pediatrics of About Pediatrics of Florence

We believe that children are more than just “little adults.” They have unique personalities, challenges, and life circumstances and we have made every effort to make our offices and care as “kid friendly” as possible. We have an aquatic theme in the waiting rooms (separated for sick and well children) as well as themed examination rooms. All of our physicians are Board Certified Pediatricians and members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and our nurse practitioners are all licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and are available to see both well and sick children.
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