Type of disease: Rare conditions

Mumps are a contagious disease caused by a virus. Mumps are spread when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks. It can also be spread through contact such as from touching a tissue or utensil that an infected person has touched or used. Symptoms typically appear 2-3 weeks after a person has been exposed to the virus, and include swelling of the cheeks and jaw from inflammation of the saliva glands, as well as fever, headache, stiff neck, and loss of appetite. Mumps can sometimes cause serious problems in the heart, pancreas, and joints, and can also lead to meningitis and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). A vaccine for mumps is available.

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