Mumps - Prevention

Today, mumps is a preventable disease. A vaccine against the disease is usually given in combination with vaccines for measles (see measles entry) and rubella (see rubella entry). The vaccine is called the MMR vaccine. It is usually given in a single dose between the ages of twelve and fifteen months, four and six years, or eleven and twelve years. Anyone who is not certain whether he or she has had a vaccination should be vaccinated.

Vaccinations are also recommended for certain groups of people. For example, health-care workers should be vaccinated to protect them from infection by clients. People who travel to other parts of the world should consider a mumps vaccination. Although the disease has largely disappeared in the United States, it is still common in many other parts of the world.

On the other hand, there are some people who should not be vaccinated against mumps. For these people, the vaccine can be more dangerous than the disease it is intended to prevent. Among those who should not be vaccinated are the following:

  • pregnant women
  • anyone with an illness accompanied by a mild fever
  • people who are allergic to eggs and/or egg products
  • persons with conditions that have damaged their immune systems, such as those who are HIV-positive

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