Mumps is caused by a virus and causes fever and swelling of the saliva glands on one or both sides of the face, called parotitis. Mumps usually occurs in children between the ages of 5-14 years of age, and is spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs droplets containing the virus into the air. It is also important to know that people with mumps are infectious (can spread the disease) from two days before through five days after parotitis. This means an infected person can spread the disease before knowing he or she is infected. In very extreme cases, the disease can lead to hearing loss and meningitis.
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