Before vaccines, mumps was a common childhood disease. The most obvious sign of mumps is swelling of the cheeks and jaw, which is caused by inflammation in the salivary glands. Children with mumps usually also get a fever and headache. Generally, mumps is a mild disease, but it does have its serious side:
The mumps vaccine we use today was licensed in 1967, and is a live, attenuated (weakened) vaccine. The number of reported cases has dropped from over 150,000 in 1968 to only 666 in 1998.
Mumps vaccine is usually given together with measles and rubella vaccines in a shot called MMR. See the MMR article to read about MMR vaccine.
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