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What are Measles, Mumps, and Rubella?

What Are Measles, Mumps, And Rubella?

May 26, 2020

Immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella is customarily given during childhood, and the vaccines for these conditions have been around since before 1970, so those of us in the U.S. don't think much about them. Many of us may not even know what they are.

Measles is a viral respiratory tract infection that causes fever and rash. It's transmitted easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or direct contact.

Mumps is a viral infection that causes swelling in the salivary glands. Other symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite.

Rubella, also called German measles, is a viral infection characterized by a distinctive red rash. For most people, the symptoms are mild, but the infection can cause serious problems for unborn babies whose mothers become infected during pregnancy.

Measles is prevalent in the developing world, and the potential for rubella exposure is also greater in developing countries.

To help prevent contracting measles, mumps, or rubella:

  • Maintain a strict hygiene regimen, such as washing your hands before eating.
  • Ensure your immunizations are up to date. If you've never been vaccinated and you've never had measles, mumps, or rubella, you need to be immunized prior to international travel.

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