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Mumps vaccination

Mumps vaccination

Mumps is an acute infectious disease caused by the mumps virus. The disease is characterized by swelling of one or more salivary glands, usually the parotid glands. Usually benign, the infection can lead to complications such as viral meningitis, orchitis or ovaritis.

Once a common childhood infection, mumps has become a relatively rare disease thanks to the introduction of systematic vaccination programs in Canada. However, mumps outbreaks are still occurring across the country, and the proportion of cases occurring in young adults is on the rise.

The incubation period averages 16 to 18 days, but can vary from 12 to 25 days. Mumps is most often characterized by unilateral or bilateral parotitis (in 30 to 40% of patients), preceded by fever, headache, malaise, myalgia or anorexia.

Systemic symptoms usually disappear within three to five days, and parotid swelling subsides within seven to ten days. Around 20% of infections are asymptomatic, and 40-50% of cases manifest non-specific or respiratory symptoms.

Source: Health Canada