Mumps (or “the mumps”) is the more common name for parotitis (say: “pare-oh-TIE-tiss”). It is a viral infection that causes your parotid glands to swell. Your parotid glands are located between your ear and jaw. These glands make the saliva (spit) that helps you chew and swallow food. In serious cases, mumps can affect other organs. Mumps is most common in children 2 to 12 years of age who haven’t received the mumps vaccine, but you can catch it at any age.

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