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Mumps is an infectious illness caused by a virus. In the 2004-2005 mumps epidemic, most of the people infected with the virus were aged between 15 and 24, but you can catch it at any age. It is now less common because of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination. It is most easily caught from people with the infection from two to six days before they get swollen glands to about nine days after. It usually takes about 14 to 21 days to develop symptoms after being exposed to the virus (the incubation period). About one in three children with mumps don’t get any symptoms. At first, the symptoms of mumps are similar to those of flu, and can include: fever, headache, sore throat, earache that is made worse by chewing, pain on chewing and swallowing, loss of appetite, tiredness and muscle aches.

If the pain is severe you should consult your doctor.

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