Mumps is a highly contagious, fast-spreading disease. When someone gets mumps, they have a fever and swollen neck glands.
Mumps is one of many viral illnesses that can be prevented with immunizations. Before the vaccine was developed, mumps was a common childhood illness. It's spread through coughs and sneezes, and while it's often mild, there are complications that can be serious, like brain infections and deafness. The name mumps comes from the now-obsolete mump, "a grimace," from a previous meaning, "to whine like a beggar." In the seventeenth century, mumps also meant "a fit of melancholy."