Mumps is a disease, usually of children, caused by a virus. With mumps, your salivary glands swell. Specifically, these are the parotid glands, and they are located below and in front of each ear.
The virus is spread by direct contact with an infected person's sneeze or cough. Humans are the only known natural hosts. The disease is more severe if you get it as an adult.
With nearly universal immunization in childhood, there are fewer than 1,000 cases of mumps per year. Most of the reported cases are in children 5-14 years of age. The infection is more common during late winter and spring.
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