Measles, mumps, and rubella are serious diseases.
Before vaccines, they were very common, especially among children.
Mumps is a viral infection that usually causes swelling of the salivary glands (the glands that produce the digestive juices in the mouth). Thanks to the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine given at 12-15 months and a booster at age four to six, most of today's children will never get this disease.
The importance of routine vaccination to protect against mumps became particularly clear in 2005–2006. At this time, an infected tourist from the United Kingdom brought the disease to Iowa, where an outbreak occurred involving several hundred individuals in not only Iowa, but also nearby states.
Today, if your child gets the mumps it can be very serious. A child with mumps will become contagious beginning a day or two before the swelling begins, and the contagious period will continue for about five days after the swelling has started. It's interesting to note that approximately one-third of those infected with mumps do not show obvious swelling.
As a general guideline, keep your child with mumps away from school and childcare facilities for nine days after the gland swelling has begun.
Dr. Rodney Willoughby, Jr., joins Melanie Cole to explain the danger of these diseases, which were once thought to be under control.