Humans are the only natural host of mumps virus, and natural infection confers lifelong immunity. Individuals sometimes claim to have had mumps more than once, probably because other infectious and non-infectious diseases can cause parotid swelling. The virus is spread by the high percentage, about 30%, of individuals who have asymptomatic infections and continue to mingle with other people while infectious. In symptomatic

Figure 24.11 Reported Cases of Mumps, United States, 1973-2001

Mumps vaccine was licensed in 1967.There were only 231 cases reported for the year 2001.

24.4 Viral Diseases of the Upper Alimentary System 609

patients, the virus can be present in saliva from almost a week before symptoms appear to 2 weeks afterward, although peak infectivity is from 1 to 2 days before parotid swelling until the gland begins to return to normal size.

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