Vaccinate Your Baby


Click on the photo above to open the Mumps page from the Vaccine-Preventable Diseases eBook!

The Disease

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by the mumps virus. About half of the people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, and don't know they are infected. For those who do show symptoms, mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of salivary glands.

Mumps spreads from an infected person to a healthy person through coughing, sneezing and regular conversation. People with mumps usually recover after a week or two, but mumps can occasionally cause serious complications. The most common complication is inflammation of the testicles in boys who have reached puberty. Other rarer complications include swelling of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord; swelling of the ovaries and/or breasts in girls who have reached puberty; and deafness.

The Statistics

Prior to the mumps vaccine, approximately 200,000 cases of mumps and 20 to 30 deaths occurred each year in the U.S. Due to widespread vaccination, the number of mumps cases has dropped significantly; however, outbreaks of mumps still occur in the U.S. In 2009 and 2010, there were two large mumps outbreaks resulting in approximately 3,500 cases of mumps. Outbreaks continued to occur from 2011 to 2013, and in 2014, close to 1,000 cases of mumps have been reported so far. Outbreaks in at least four U.S. universities have contributed to the number of people with mumps in 2014.

The Vaccine

The MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is the best way to protect against mumps. For the best protection, children need two doses of MMR. The first dose of MMR should be given between 12-15 months of age and the second dose between 4-6 years of age. A vaccine which combines measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) is also available.

Adults born after 1957 who have not had the mumps and have not had the MMR vaccine should receive two doses of MMR vaccine.

Additional Resources


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