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Mumps is a viral illness that causes fever, tiredness, and swelling of the salivary glands found under the ears. It is spread by droplets of saliva from coughing, sneezing, or kissing. It can also be spread by touching a doorknob or other object that has been exposed and then eating or rubbing your eyes. The MMR vaccine that you probably received as a teenager is 90% effective in preventing the illness.

Mumps is rarely life threatening, but it is uncomfortable and can occasionally cause serious complications. Students should take a few minutes and look at their vaccination record. If you are not sure where it is, your parents may know. You should have received two separate "MMR" shots. If you have had both vaccines, you are most likely protected from infection. If not, or if you are not sure about your vaccine "status" you should come to the Student Health Center or contact your private physician and receive a vaccination.

Not every person who is vaccinated will become immune to the mumps. In fact, about 10 out of every 100 people who are vaccinated may still be susceptible to mumps. Therefore, you should remember to wash your hands regularly, especially after shaking hands, blowing your nose, or sneezing. You should also always wash your hands before eating or smoking.

If you are ill with a fever, body aches, sore throat, and swollen glands, be courteous to others and cover your cough, also you should see a health care provider.

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