Mumps is a viral infection, which in its classical form causes acute parotitis (inflammation of the parotid salivary glands) and less frequently, orchitis, meningitis and pneumonia. Complications include sensorineuronal deafness, oligospermia, subfertility (rarely) and occasionally death from encephalitis. In the pre-vaccine area, mumps was primarily a childhood illness but epidemics among military recruits were not uncommon. The viral aetiology of the disease was identified in 1934 and live attenuated mumps vaccines have been available since the 1960s. Most European countries have had routine childhood mumps immunisation since the 1980s. Vaccination is now administered as a combination vaccination together with the measles and rubella attenuated virus components.
Disease data from ECDC Surveillance Atlas for mumps
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Mumps is a viral infection first described by Hippocrates that in its classical form causes acute parotitis and, less frequently, orchitis, meningitis and pneumonia.
Prevention and control
Immunisation is the only effective method of prevention. Mumps vaccine is given in the form of the combined trivalent measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine in all European countries with a first dose at or before 18 months of age.